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HOWARD    PEASE,    M.A.,    F.S.A. 



ETC.,   ETC. 



'For  alsmekil  as  this  Nobill  He,  callit  Gret  Britanee,  can 
nocht  be  kepit  and  maintenit  bettir  in  Welth  and  Prosperite 
than  such  Thingis  to  be  practizit  and  concludit  betweyn 
the  Kingis  of  boith  the  Reahnes  of  Scotland  and  Ingland, 
quharby  that  and  thare  subjectis  micht  be  assoverit  to  lefe  in 
Peax,  Luf  and  Tendines  to  grow  and  incres  ymangis  thame, 
it  hath  be  Aggreit,  Accordit  and  Concludit  that,  considerit 
the  long  continewyt  Trublis,  Discentions  and  Debattis 
betwen  the  boith  Eealmes,  with  gret  and  mortell  Werre 
that  haith  followit  thar  uppon,  for  the  appeasing  and  setting 
apart  of  the  samyn,  a  newar  and  a  most  especiale  Weye  is 
to  be  fundin  and  had  than  only  the  trust  of  the  Trew  and 
Abstinence  of  Werre  that  is  nowe  or  ony  uthir  Trew  that 
couth  be  divisit  betuix  boith  the  Parties.' 

Confirmatio    Alligantiarum    et    Treugarum    per    Regem 
Scotonun.    26.  X.  1474.     (Rymer,  Foedera.) 


TO    THE 




Posuit  fines  tuos  pacem.    Ps.  xlviii 

No  Warden  keeps  the  Marches, 

From  Tynedale  to  the  Tweed, 
Broad  winds  the  road  to  Scotland 

Beside  the  streams  of  Rede. 

Here,  where  some  flaming  roof-tree 

Leaped  red-tongued  to  the  sky, 
About  the  grass-grown  ruins, 

The  nesting  stock-doves  fly. 

Here,  where  spear-driven  cattle 

Splashed  deep  to  taste  the  cool, 
Only  the  quick-winged  dipper 

Startles  the  quiet  pool. 

Unwatched,  your  flocks,  0  shepherd, 

Feed  safe  o'er  many  a  field, 
With  red-brown  bracken  rusted 

Hangs  Cheviot's  dinted  shield. 

Plough,  husbandman,  long  furrows, 

Fling,  sower,  undismayed, 
In  groves  of  birch  and  alder 

Tweed  sheathes  his  steel-bright  blade. 


Reprinted  by  kind  permission  of  Mr.  Elkin  Mathews. 


IT  may  be  claimed  for  this  Book  that  it  was  written 
on  the  only  true  principle,  viz.  to  please  the  author, 
and  furthermore,  to  enable  him  to  resolve  certain 
doubts.  He  well  remembers  how  difficult,  for  example 
— to  cite  only  three  instances — he  found  it  in  the  past 
to  discover  precisely  what  a  '  Land  Serjeant '  was,  and 
what  the  true  meaning  of '  Double  and  Sawfey '  might 
be,  or  exactly  what  '  to  baugle '  meant. 

'  Sawfey '  has  hitherto  been  defined  as  '  blackmail ' * 
levied  by  Border  raiders,  or  '  protection  money,'  but 
in  reality  the  word  means  a,  fine  or  punishment,  and 
is  part  of  the  code  of  the  Border  Laws.  Sir  Robert 
Bowes  (who  had  been  long  time  a  Warden  and  '  one 
of  the  most  expert  Borderers  within  memory,'  so  Sir 
William  Bowes — Treasurer  of  Berwick — styles  him  in 
writing  to  Burleigh  in  1598),  discusses  the  term  fully 

1  By  an  enactment  of  the  43rd  Eliz.,  it  was  ordered — without,  however, 
impeaching  the  jurisdiction  of  the  Lord  Wardens — that  the  paying  'a 
certain  rate  of  money,  corn,  cattle,  or  other  consideration,  commonly  there 
called  by  the  name  of  blackmail,  unto  divers  and  sundry  inhabitants  upon 
or  near  the  Border  was  felony  without  benefit  of  cltrgy.' 

Blackmail  is  said  to  signify  payment  in  cattle ;  whitemail  in  silver 



in  his  report1  on  the  Borders  in  1551,  and  though  he 
has  infinite  difficulty  in  spelling  it  (flass,  sale,  falsse 
being  varieties),  he  sets  forth  the  meaning  clearly 

The  duties  again  of  a  '  Land  Serjeant '  become 
clear  when  you  read  Thomas  Carleton's  Letters2  to 
Lord  Burleigh  in  1597,  and  the  true  signification  of 
'baugle'  or  'bauchle'  in  a  memorandum  on  the 
'  manner  of  holding  days  of  Truce '  in  Sir  R.  Bowes's 

The  Border  Papers,  so  ably  edited  by  the  late  Mr. 
Joseph  Bain,  are  a  true  search-light  for  students  of 
Border  History,  for  you  get  there  the  personal 
equation  of  the  Lord  Wardens  and  the  inhabitants 
of  the  Marches. 

Therein  you  may  gather  incidentally  the  difficulties 
of  March  administration  when  you  read  Sir  John 
Forster's  letter  to  Walsingham,  where,  after  mention- 
ing the  death  of  Sir  Thomas  Ker  in  1586 — who  had 
been  his  opposite  Warden — he  concludes  with  an 
expression  of  sorrow — *  that  he  had  not  beine  hanged.' 
You  can  also  read  of  the  many  accusations  brought 
against  Forster  himself,  and  of  his  final  dismissal 
from  his  Wardenship. 

There    are    of   course    innumerable    books  —  stout 

1  See  Reprints,  vol.  iv.  (Richardson,  Newcastle). 

2  See  Calendar  of  Border  Papers,  vol.  ii  p.  447. 


quartos  as  well  as  ephemeral  crown  octavos — about 
the  Border,  but  there  is  none,  so  far  as  the  present 
writer  knows,  that  sets  forth  the  romantic  story  of 
'the  Laws  of  the  Marches,'  the  lawgivers,  and  the 
lawless  on  its  social  or  administrative  side,  which  is 
the  task  the  writer  has  essayed.  Bishop  Nicholson's 
Leges  Marchiarum  is  the  foundation-stone  of  the 
building  which  has  been  built  up  thereafter  out  of  the 
Border  Minstrelsy  of  Sir  Walter  Scott,  Burn  and 
Nicholson's  History  of  Westmorland  and  Cumberland, 
Ridpath's  History,  Armstrong's  History  of  Liddesdale 
and  the  Debateable  Land,  Andrew  Lang's  History  of 
Scotland,  Rymer's  Foedera,  and,  most  important  of 
all,  the  Border  Papers  above  mentioned. 

Dr.  Hodgkin's  excellent  Creightonian  Lecture  on 
the  'Wardens  of  the  Northern  Marches'  (Murray, 
1908)  had  a  list  of  the  various  Wardens  which  the 
present  writer  in  '  conveying '  has  somewhat  amplified. 
He  has  further — with  Dr.  Hodgkin's  kind  permission 
— made  use  of  a  like  title  for  this  book. 

He  must  also  express  his  gratitude  to  Dr.  Neilson 
of  Glasgow  for  discovering  to  him  the  meaning  of 
that  strange  term  the  Manus  de  Wardshiell,  men- 
tioned in  the  first  of  the  Leges  Marchiarum,  that 
had  long  been  an  enigma. 

Finally,  his  warm  thanks  are  due  to  Mr.  C.  B.  L. 
Fletcher  of  Oxford  for  reading  through  the  MS., 


and  for  much  valued  criticism  and  advice,  and  to 
the  Rev.  H.  A.  Wilson  of  Magdalen  College  for 
sundry  suggestions  and  interesting  notes,  and  to 
Mr.  A.  L.  Smith  of  Balliol  College  for  various 
assistance  and  encouragement. 

As  you  read  in  the  Border  Laws  you  will  note 
the  gradual  growth  of  civilisation — in  the  kings  at 
least,  if  not  the  people1 — as  shown  by  the  various 
sections  of  the  later  indentures,  dealing  with  swifter 
methods  of  bringing  notorious  thieves  and  murderers 
to  justice,  also  with  making  the  meetings  of  the  Lord 
Wardens  more  frequent  and  efficacious,  till  finally  in 
1596 — seven  years  before  the  'Marches  of  England 
against  Scotland '  and  of  '  Scotland  against  England ' 
became  King  James's  '  Middle  Shires ' — you  will  find 

1  Indeed  the  last  state  of  the  Borders  was  worse  than  the  first,  for  even  so 
late  as  1587,  when  there  was  peace  between  the  two  kingdoms,  the  lawless- 
ness of  the  Borderland  can  be  shown  at  a  glance  by  giving  the  '  breviate  of 
the  attempts  of  England  committed  upon  the  West  Marches  by  the  West 
Borders  of  Liddesdale  and  fouled  (viz.,  found  true),  by  the  Commissioners 
of  Berwick  for  lack  of  appearance,  with  the  breviate  of  the  Liddesdale  Bills, 
ouled  of  the  inhabitants  of  the  West  Marches  by  the  Commissioners  at 
Berwick  :  with  the  names  of  such  persons  noted  in  the  Marches,  as  my 
Lord  Scroope  had  ready  to  deliver,  together  with  the  breviate  of  the  bills 
of  England,  fouled  at  Berwick  upon  the  West  Marches  of  Scotland,  by  the 
Commissioners,  according  to  the  indenture.'  Add  to  the  above  the  counter 
abstract  of  the  West  Marches  of  Scotland  fouled  against  the  West  Marches 
of  England  by  the  said  Commissioners. 

The  sum-total  of  all  these  various  bills  for  slaughter,  wounding,  theft, 
and  burnings  amounted  to  J9700  for  English  claims,  and  to  .£41,600  for 
the  Scottish,  leaving  thus  a  surplus  of  English  wrongdoing  to  the  tune  of 


even  the  spiritual  needs  of  the  inhabitants  taken 
thought  of. 

Thus,  Item  1  of  the  last  of  the  Border  Laws  runs 
as  follows  : — '  That  the  Princes  be  most  humbly  and 
earnestly  intreated  to  cause  God's  ministers  of  the 
Word  to  be  planted  in  every  Border  Church,  to 
inform  the  Lawless  People  of  their  Duty,  and  to 
watch  over  their  manners,  and  that  the  Principal 
Inhabitants  of  each  Parish  shall  put  in  surety  to 
their  Prince  for  Due  Reverence  to  be  used  towards 
their  Pastors  in  their  Offices,  and  the  safety  of 
their  Persons ;  and  that  to  this  effect,  order  may 
be  timely  taken  for  reparation  of  the  Decayed 
Churches  within  the  Bounds/ 

We  may  conclude  our  Preface  with  a  quaint 
illustration  of  the  usual  fate  of  the  Borderer  in  the 
old  days,  who  rarely  died — '  like  a  cow ' — in  his  bed. 

As  we  commented  once  upon  the  excess  of  the 
names  of  women  over  those  of  men  on  the  headstones 
in  the  Churchyard  at  Bewcastle,  the  Sexton  responded 
drily,  '  What  happened  the  men  ?  Wey,  the  men 
were  a'  hangit  at  weary  Carlisle  ! ' 







Part  I. — A  RETROSPECT  .  „  .  .  .  6 

Part  II. — THE  ORIGIN  OF  THE  FEUD  .  .  .17 



Part  I. — THE  RAID  AND  THE  FORAY  .  .  .19 
Part  II. — '  DEADLY  FEUD  '  .  .  .  .  .33 




AND  FINAL  DIVISION  .  .  .  .  .55 



THE  BORDERS '     .                .               ..                .                .  .66 

POSTSCRIPT  :    TRIAL  BY  COMBAT  .                .  .78 




Part  I. — THE    COURTS    AND    JURISDICTION     OF    THE    LORD 

WARDENS  ......         104 


WARDENS' PROCEDURE  .  .  .  .  .116 



Part  IV. — 'QUIS  CUSTODIET  IPSOS  CUSTODES?'      .  .      130 

THE    WARDEN'S    OWN    COURT,    OB    CASES    OF    '  MARCH 

TREASON'          .  .  .  .  .  .      138 





OF  THE  RAIDERS  .  .  .  .  .161 


BALES  AND  BEACON   FIRES    .  .  .  .  .165 



THE  MARCHES  OF  EITHER  REALM     .       .       .171 



OFFICERS  OF  THE  BORDER  .  .  »  .176 






Part  I. — THE   LORD   WARDENS   OF  THE   MARCHES      .  .190 


SCOTS  JUSTICIARS  .  .  .  .  .214 



MARCHMEN  BY  JAMES  VI.  AND  I.        .  .  .225 

EPILOGUE     .......      230 

I.  'THE  AULD  ENEMY'      .  .  .  .  .231 



THE  DUTY  OF  BORDER  DEFENCE  .  .  .      238 

IV.  ARMOUR  AND  WEAPONS  OF  THE  MARCHMEN    .  .      239 
V.  'DOUBLE  AND  SAWFEY '  AND  'BAUGHLING'     .           .      240 

INDEX  247 




.         .  Frontispiece 

The  Hon.  Walter  James,  K.E.  . 


MARCH  .        .        .        .        .  at  pp.    42-43 

II.  MAP  OF  THE  DEBATABLE  LAND     .        .       .         „       54-55 


MARCH.        ......         „    160-161 

IV.  MAP  OF  ANNANDALE    ,  174-175 



'  I  care  not  who  makes  the  laws  of  a  nation  so  long  as  I  may  frame  their 


THE  charm  of  the  Borderland  and  its  ancient  romance 
is  not  unlike  to  the  spell  which  Homer  wove  about 
the  feud  of  Greek  and  Trojan.  The  Border  history  is 
more  barbarous  indeed,  yet  it  is  often  instinct  with 
the  same  chivalrous  motives  and  occupied  with  the 
like  human  interests,  and  further,  it  has  supplied  a 
like  magnificent  inspiration.  In  the  one  case  you 
have  as  singer  and  maker  one  of  the  greatest  of  all 
poets — Homer  :  in  the  other  '  out  and  out  the  king  of 
the  romantics ' — to  quote  Stevenson's  words — '  Sir 
Walter  Scott.' 

In  either  case  you  have  the  elemental  passions 
of  love  and  hate,  fidelity  to  chief  and  cause,  the 
fearlessness  of  man,  the  courage  and  constancy  of 
woman  ;  you  can  match  the  ruses  of  Odysseus  with 



those  of  Sir  James  Douglas,  the  beauty  of  Helen  with 
the  fascination  of  Mary  Queen  of  Scots,  for  whom 
so  many  Borderers  on  either  side  fought  in  vain,  in 
whose  cause  the  Earl  of  Northumberland  lost  his  life 
and  the  Earl  of  Westmoreland  his  estates. 

When  the  Laird  of  Buccleugh  had  so  gallantly 
rescued  *  Kinmont  Will '  from  Carlisle  Castle  and 
was  confronted  with  the  wrath  of  Queen  Elizabeth, 
he  won  the  great  Queen's  admiration  by  his  dauntless 
words,  '  What  is  there  that  a  brave  man  will  not 
attempt  ? ' 

And  we  may  add  the  testimony  of  Sir  Philip  Sidney 
to  the  hold  the  Border  story  retains  upon  the  human 
heart,  for,  '  confessing  his  barbarousness,'  he  admitted 
that  Chevy  Chase  moved  him  more  than  the  sound 
of  trumpet. 

As  the  duel  and  the  battle  were  waged  for  years 
about  the  walls  of  Troy  between  the  Achaians  and 
the  Trojans,  so  for  centuries  the  long  contest  raged 
upon  the  Borderland  between  the  English  and  the 
Scots,  '  and  the  earth  streamed  with  blood/ 

'  Ot  S'  ore  8tj  p'  es  \wpov  eva  ^uiuovres  I'KOVTO, 
2w  p'  e(3a\ov  ptvoiis,  <rvv  8'  eyxea  *a'  fteve'  avSpwv 
XaA.K€o0u)/c»jKC)V  drap  curTrtSes  o//,</>aAoe(r(rGU 
"ETTA^VT'  a.XX.rjXyai,  TroAvs  8'  opvfj.a.ySo's  opatpti. 
'Ev0a8'  a/x'  oifKayr)  re  KCU  evx^Ai)  ireXcv  avfy>wv, 
re,  KCU  oAAv/zevouv,  pee  8'  ai'/zari  ycua.' 

Iliad,  iv.  446451. 


The  Borderland,  indeed,  possesses  a  twofold  magic  : 
the  one  is  the  dowry  of  nature,  the  other  that  of  a 
great  artist,  for  the  '  great  Wizard '  has  peopled  a 
romantic  country  for  us  with  undying  figures,  even 
as  Homer  filled  the  plains  of  the  Simois  and  Scamander 
to  our  delight  with  living  heroes.  The  natural  magic 
endures  through  the  ages,  for  one  of  late l  who  has 
been  called  the  '  swiftest  and  brightest  spirit  of  our 
day '  felt  it  to  the  full. 

Thus,  Miss  Sichel  writes  of  her  friend's  love  for 
Northumberland.  '  She  liked  nature  to  be  a  power 
outside  her,  infusing  into  her  the  joy,  the  peace,  that 
she  did  not  always  possess.  She  never  felt  that  power 
more  than  in  Northumberland.  Northumberland 
haunted  her :  she  loved  its  stern  moods,  its  summer 
richness,  its  Border  sights,  its  strong  romance.' 

Yet  to  some  the  Border  scenery  is  too  stern,  too 
uninhabited,  and  too  aloof  from  mankind  to  please. 
To  the  Frenchman  and  the  city  lover  it  is  triste,  as  a 
friend  of  the  writer's  once  characterised  it. 

Washington  Irving,  as  we  know  from  his  own 
account,  was  disappointed  with  what  he  saw  upon 
the  Scottish  Border.  '  Our  ramble,'  he  wrote  in  his 
Miscellanies,  '  took  us  on  the  hills  commanding  an 
extensive  prospect.  "  Now,"  said  Scott,  "  I  have 
brought  you,  like  the  pilgrim  in  the  Pilgrim's 
1  Miss  Mary  Coleridge. 


Progress,  to  the  top  of  the  Delectable  Mountains, 
that  I  may  show  you  all  the  goodly  regions  hereabouts. 
Yonder  is  Lammermuir,  and  Smailholme ;  and  there 
you  have  Galashiels,  and  Gala  Water :  and  in  that 
direction  you  see  Teviotdale  and  the  Braes  of  Yarrow, 
and  Ettrick  Stream  winding  along  like  a  silver  thread 
to  throw  itself  into  the  Tweed/'  He  went  on  thus 
to  call  over  names  celebrated  in  Scottish  Song,  and 
most  of  which  had  recently  received  a  romantic 
interest  from  his  own  pen.  In  fact,  I  saw  a  great 
part  of  the  Border  country  spread  out  before  me, 
and  could  trace  the  scenes  of  those  poems  and 
romances  which  had  in  a  manner  bewitched  the 

'  I  gazed  about  me  for  a  time  with  mute  surprise,  I 
may  almost  say,  with  disappointment.  I  beheld  a 
mere  succession  of  grey,  waving  hills,  line  beyond  line, 
as  far  as  my  eye  could  .reach,  monotonous  in  their 
aspect,  and  so  destitute  of  trees,  that  one  could  almost 
see  a  stout  fly  walking  along  their  profile :  and  the 
far-famed  Tweed  appeared  a  naked  stream,  flowing 
between  bare  hills,  without  a  tree  or  a  thicket  on 
its  banks  :  and  yet,  such  had  been  the  magic  web  of 
poetry  and  romance  thrown  over  the  whole,  that  it 
had  a  greater  charm  for  me  than  the  richest  scenery 
I  had  beheld  in  England.  I  could  not  help  giving 
utterance  to  my  thoughts.  .  Scott  hummed  for  a 


moment  to  himself,  and  looked  grave  :  he  had  no  idea 
of  having  his  muse  complimented  at  the  expense  of 
his  native  hills. 

'"It  may  be  pertinacity,"  said  he  at  length,  "  but  to 
my  eye  these  grey  hills  and  all  this  ivild  border  country 
have  beauties  peculiar  to  themselves.  I  like  the  very 
nakedness  of  the  land ;  it  has  something  bold,  and  stern, 
and  solitary  about  it.  When  I  have  been  for  some 
time  in  the  rich  scenery  about  Edinburgh,  which  is  like 
ornamented  garden  land,  I  begin  to  wish  myself  back 
again  among  my  own  honest  grey  hills :  and  if  I  did 
not  see  the  heather  at  least  once  a  year,  I  think  I  should 
die." ' 





'  Quhen  Alysandyr,  our  kyng,  was  dede. 
That  Scotland  led  in  luive  and  Le. 
Away  wes  sons  of  Ale  and  Brede, 
Of  wyne  and  wax,  of  gamyn  and  gle, 
Oure  gold  was  changd  into  lede. 
Cryst,  born  into  virgynyte, 
Succour  Scotland  and  remede 
That  stad  is  in  perplexyte.' 

WYNTOUN,  Chronykil. 

BUT  let  us  now  turn  back  our  eyes  to  the  far  past  in 
order  to  trace  the  gradual  evolution  of  the  kingdoms 
of  England  and  Scotland,  and  the  settling  of  the 
Border  boundary  betwixt  the  two  countries,  until  in 
the  reign  of  Edward  i.  we  meet  with  the  first  Lord 
Warden  of  the  Marches. 

The  Eoman  Wall— the  '  Picts'  Wall/  as  the  old 
geographers  termed  it — in  itself  one  of  the  earliest 
signs  of  the  decay  of  Rome's  strength — had  drawn 
a  rampart  across  Britain  which  should  be  a  fence 
against  the  Pict  and  Scot. 

The  still  earlier  and  more  northerly  bridle  of  forts 


— that  praetentura  by  which  Agricola  had  held  in 
subjection  the  unruly  Picts  between  the  Forth  and 
Clyde — had  not  been  linked  together  by  a  wall,  and 
Hadrian  chose  the  line  between  the  Tyne  and  Solway 
for  his  great  rampire — whether  that  be  the  vallum 
or  the  wall ;  and  thus  upon  the  Northumbrian  and 
Cumbrian  moorlands  he  built  the  '  Altars  of  the 
limits  of  the  Roman  Empire.' 

The  Emperor  Severus  again,  accepting  Hadrian's 
line  of  fortification,  '  built  a  wall  of  stone  across  the 
Island '  extending  from  sea  to  sea — from  Wall  send 
that  stands  by  the  tidal  waters  of  the  North  Sea 
to  Port  Carlisle  on  Solway  Strand,  thus  leaving 
the  greater  part  of  what  is  now  Cumberland  and 
Northumberland  in  the  possession  of  the  Pict  and  Scot. 

Then  when  the  Romans  in  410  withdrew  their  last 
remaining  legions  from  the  Island,  the  raids  of  the 
Picts  and  Scots  upon  the  Romanised  Britons  would 
recommence  with  delight  and  be  continued  with  zeal 
till  such  time  as  the  Angles,  Jutes,  and  Saxons 
possessed  themselves  of  the  land,  and  Edwin  the 
Anglian  built  his  *  burn,'  as  the  early  chroniclers 
aver,  beside  the  Firth  of  Forth. 

Fighting  was  the  chief  occupation  of  the  time,  and 
the  Northumbrian  Ethelfrith,  ex  tending  his  sovereignty 
over  the  kingdom  of  Deira,  ruled  from  Humber  to 
Forth ;  made  his  victorious  way  as  far  as  Chester, 


which  he  sacked,  and  was  acknowledged  as  suzerain  by 
the  Scots  in  Dalriada  and  the  Britons  in  Strathclyde, 
so  that  the  boundary  between  England  and  Scotland 
at  this  time  ran  from  the  Forth  to  the  Clyde. 

But  the  fortunes  of  warfare  ebbed  and  flowed, 
and  when  Egfrith  was  slain  in  685  at  the  Battle 
of  Nectansmere  these  same  Scots  and  Britons  re- 
nounced the  overlordship  of  Northumbria.  The  sun 
of  Northumberland's  greatness  was  setting.  The 
Danes  established  themselves  in  Deira,  and  Guthred 
gave  to  the  successor  of  St.  Cuthbert  what  came 
to  be  known  as  'the  Bishopric/  namely,  all  the 
land  lying  between  the  Wear  and  Tyne.  Though 
Athelstane  by  his  great  victory  at  Brunanbuhr  in 
934  drove  back  Constantine,  King  of  the  Scots,  and 
the  mixed  forces  of  insurgent  Danes,  Picts,  Welsh 
and  Cumbrians,  by  963  Edinburgh  was  lost  to  England, 
and  though  Edmund — twenty  years  previously — had 
conquered  Cumbria  (viz.  Cumberland  and  Lancashire), 
he  had  handed  it  over  to  the  King  of  Scots  upon 
what  would  soon  come  to  be  called  '  feudal  tenure/ 
but  at  the  time  '  was  in  reality  a  bribe  to  keep  the 

'The  good  old  rule,  the  simple  plan/  is  still 
efficacious  enough  in  our  own  twentieth  century,  as 
Austria- Hungary  and  Italy  have  shown  in  their 
respective  treatment  of  Bosnia  and  Herzegovina, 


and  Tripoli.  '  Honest'  Austria  and  Italy  alike,  after 
the  fashion  of  the  '  wight-riding  Robson '  of  the  Play, 
have  done  a  '  little  shifting  for  their  living/  On  this 
analogy  we  may  easily  believe  that  had  it  not  been 
for  the  superior  power  of  the  Normans  no  recognition 
of  overlordship  nor  mention  of  homage  would  have 
been  made  for  Cumberland  or  Northumberland  by 
the  King  of  Scotland :  with  a  weaker  England, 
these  counties  would  inevitably  have  become  part 
of  Scotland. 

Thus  Lothian,  which  had  been  for  so  long  a  time 
English  ground,  had  gradually  lapsed  to,  or  been 
taken  by  the  Scots,  Malcolm  n.  seemingly  having 
wrested  it  from  the  feeble  hands  of  Eadwulf  Cutel 
in  Canute's  reign  after  the  Scots'  victory  at  Carham- 
on-Tweed  in  1018. 

Hence  at  the  time  of  the  Norman  Conquest  Malcolm 
Canmore  held  Cumberland,  and  a  large  part  of  West- 
moreland, and  a  portion  of  what  had  been  till  recently 
Northumbria  ;  so  that  it  was  not  till  nearly  a  century 
later  that  the  boundary  line  between  Scotland  and 
England  came  to  run  from  Berwick  and  the  Tweed 
by  Cheviot  unto  Carlisle. 

There  are  on  Stanemore,  nigh  to  the  old  road  from 
York  to  Brough  and  Carlisle,  the  remains  of  a  cross 
styled  the  Rey,  Roy  (royal),  or  Rere  Cross  which 
Hector  Boethius,  the  Scottish  writer,  'recordeth  to 


have  been  erected  as  a  mear  stone  or  boundary 
between  England  and  Scotland,  what  time  William 
the  Conqueror  granted  Cumberland  unto  the  Scots, 
on  this  condition,  that  they  should  hold  of  him  as 
his  tenants,  and  not  attempt  anything  prejudicial 
or  hurtful  to  the  crown  of  England.' 

This  is  the  picturesque  tradition,  derived  from  a 
name,  as  is  commonly  the  case ;  the  actual  fact  is 
that  William  the  Conqueror  crossed  the  Forth  with 
an  army  and  received  homage  of  some  kind  from 
Malcolm  Canmore  at  Abernethy. 

Possibly  it  may  have  been  no  more  than  the  '  simple 
homage  ' — -per  paragium — which  carried  with  it  no 
obligation  of  fidelity.  Such  was  the  homage  rendered 
by  the  Normans  to  the  King  of  France  as  opposed  to 
the  homagium  ligeum  whereby  an  individual  became 
'  the  man '  or  vassal  of  another. 

As  Hallam  in  his  View,  of  the  Middle  Ages l  points 
out,  this  was  frequently  done  for  the  sake  of  pro- 
tection or  security,  and  '  commendation,' 2  though  it 
imposed  homage,  seems  not  always  to  have  implied 

1  See  his  State  of  Europe  during  the  Middle  Ages,  vol.  i.  pp.  114-5.    (9th 
ed.    Murray.) 

2  It  may  be  pointed  out  in  this  connection  that  the  Domesday  freeholders 
'  were  at  liberty  to  sell  their  lands  without  the  permission  of  any  Lord,  and 
to  enter  into  a  voluntary  bond,  known  as  commendation,  by  which  they 
became  the  retainers  of  a  magnate  in  return  for  his  protection.     But  the 
bond  did  not  necessarily  confer  on  their  Lord  any  right  over  their  land.' 
See  Domesday  Inquest,  by  Ballard,  p.  128.     (Methuen,  1907.) 


feudal  service,  being  apparently  dissolvable  at  the 
inferior's  pleasure. 

Whether  this  homage  was  for  the  grant  of  twelve 
villas  in  England,  and  a  subsidy  which  William  gave 
— a  feudal  recognition  only — or  whether  Malcolm 
really  '  became  the  man  of  the  Conqueror '  for  his 
kingdom,  or  only  for  Lothian  and  Cumberland  or 
certain  possessions  in  England,  English  and  Scottish 
historians  will  dispute  to  the  day  of  doom.  It  was 
not,  however,  upon  this  homage  paid  by  Malcolm  to 
William,  but  upon  the  alleged  'commendation*  of 
Scotland  to  England  in  A.D.  924,  that  Edward  I. 
based  his  claim  to  the  overlordship l  of  Scotland 
which  was  the  origin  of  the  '  feud '  that  raged  along 
the  Border  for  nigh  three  centuries. 

Of  the  aforesaid  'commendation'  the  chronicler 
gives  this  account.  '  In  this  year  was  Edward  King 
chosen  to  father  and  to  lord  of  the  Scots'  King 
(Constantine  n.),  and  of  the  Scots  and  of  Regnald 
King,  and  of  all  Northumbrians  and  eke  of  the  Strath 
Clyde  Wealas  King,  and  of  all  Strath  Clyde  Wealas.' 

With  regard  to  this  Dr.  Hill  Burton  observes  that 
these  '  memoriales  '  derive  their  importance  from  the 

1  In  reply  to  Pope  Boniface's  claim  that  Scotland  was  held  in  fief  of 
the  Court  of  Home,  Edward  i.,  says  the  Scalachronica,  '  caused  a  general 
Parliament  to  be  summoned  to  Lincoln,  where  it  was  declared  by  all  laws 
imperial,  civil,  canonical  and  royal,  and  by  the  custom  of  the  Isle  of  Britain 
in  all  times  from  the  days  of  Brutus,  that  the  sovereignty  of  Scotland 
belonged  to  the  regality  of  England,  which  was  announced  to  the  Pope.' 


political  use  made  of  them  later  in  connection  with 
feudal  institutions  and  their  distinct  practice  of 
superiority  and  homage. 

As  to  the  authority  for  the  statement  that  Malcolm 
Canmore  became  the  Conqueror's  'man,'  Dr.  Hill 
Burton  observes  that  Florence  of  Worcester  drew 
his  information  from  Walter  1'Espec's  speech  at  the 
Battle  of  the  Standard  in  1138,  wherein  Malcolm  is 
said  to  have  become  William  Rufus's  '  man/  and  the 
aforementioned  writer  thus  sums  up,  '  The  best  we 
can  make  of  the  affair  is,  that  it  was  a  step  in  those 
arrangements  by  which  the  King  of  Scotland  found 
it  expedient  to  hold  any  land  he  claimed  South  of  the 
Border  through  an  understanding  with  the  King  of 

Northumberland,  Durham,  Cumberland  and  West- 
moreland were  not  included  in  the  Domesday  Survey, 
either  because  they  were  too  desolate,  or,  as  has 
lately  been  suggested,  because  they  were  left  as  a 
limes  or  boundary  by  the  Conqueror  against  the 
northern  kingdom,  and  you  must  not  forget  that 
not  till  past  the  middle  of  the  twelfth  century  did 
Scotland  renounce  her  claim  to  Cumberland  and 
Northumberland,  for  it  was  not  till  1157  that 
Malcolm  iv.  agreed  with  his  cousin  Henry  of  England 
to  give  up  all  claim  to  Cumbria  and  Northumberland, 
so  that  not  till  this  date  can  we  draw  the  boundary 


between     England    and    Scotland    by    Solway    and 

Henry  IL,  again,  by  his  thrice-fortunate  capture  of 
William  the  Lion  at  Alnwick,  obtained  as  the  price  of 
his  liberation  the  '  admission  of  a  complete  feudal 
superiority  over  the  Kingdom  of  Scotland/  This 
was  duly  set  forth  in  very  distinct  terms  in  the 
Treaty  of  Falaise  in  1174,  and  William  had  to  do 
homage  not  only  for  his  English  possessions,  but  also 
for  Scotland,  and  all  his  other  possessions. 

But  Bichard  Coeur  de  Lion,  resolving  to  'take 
the  Cross,'  renounced  his  claim  for  homage,  and  re- 
served only  the  title  to  such  homage  as  was  anciently 
rendered  by  Malcolm  Canmore. 

'  For  this  renunciation  William  paid  10,000  marks  ; 
a  sum  which  probably  assisted  in  furnishing  the 
expenses  of  Richard's  expedition  to  Palestine.' 

This  claim  then  was  revived  by  Edward  I.,  who 
induced  the  Scots  Lords  to  recognise  himself  as  Lord 
Paramount  before  he  proceeded  to  the  election  of 
Balliol  to  the  Scottish  crown. 

It  is  true  that  Alexander  in. — who  had  married 
Margaret,  Edward  i.'s  sister — had  done  homage1  to 
Edward  for  the  lands  he  held  of  him  in  England 

1  His  words  as  given  in  Kymer  are :  '  Ego  Alexander  Hex  Scotise 
devenio  ligeus  homo  Domini  Edwardi  Kegis  Anglise  contra  omnes  gentes,' 
and  Robert  de  Bruce  at  Alexander's  request  swears  allegiance  for  him. 

'Ego  Alexander,  Kex  Scotiae,  portabo  bonam  fidem  Domino  Edwardo 


(Tynedale  and  Penrith),  but  John  Balliol  did  homage 
to  him  for  Scotland,  thus  acknowledging  Edward  as 
Lord  Paramount. 

Toom  Tabard  (empty  coat)  the  Scots  termed  the 
unfortunate  John,  and  so  greatly  did  they  mislike  his 
lack  of  patriotism  and  his  ill-luck  that  many  years 
afterwards  they  insisted  upon  John,  son  of  Robert  IL, 
sinking  his  baptismal  name  and  assuming  as  his  kingly 
title  that  of  Robert  in.,  wherefore  he  is  sometimes 
alluded  to  as  John  Faranyeir  or  Fernyeir,  meaning, 
he  who  was  formerly  called  John. 

'Now  Edward  I./  to  quote  Mr.  Andrew  Lang,  who 
acts  as  the  fairest  of  umpires  on  this  intricate  battle- 
field, 'the  greatest  of  the  Plantagenets,  the  brave 
warrior,  the  open-handed  friend,  the  true  lover,  the 
generally  far-sighted  politician,  was  not  the  false  and 
cruel  monster  of  early  Scottish  legend. 

'But  he  was  mortal ;  clement  by  disposition  and 
feeling  his  temper  could  be  stirred  into  cruelty  by 

'  He  took  advantage  of  Scotland's  necessities,  and  of 
the  weaknesses  and  ambition  of  the  Anglo-Norman 
foreign  leaders  to  drive  the  hardest  of  conceivable 

'  Having  decided  the  pleas  in  favour  of  Balliol,  as 

Regi  Anglise,  et  haeredibus  suis  Eegibus  Angliae,  servitia,  de  vita  et 
membris,  et  terreno  honore,  et  fideliter  faciam  servitia,  debita  de  terris  et 
tenementis,  quse  teneo  de  Kege  Angliee  supradicto.' 


was  just),  it  was  now  in  Edward's  power  to  support 
Balliol,  and  to  treat  him  with  generous  and  states- 
manlike forbearance. 

'To  Balliol,  the  vassal,  he  was  uniformly  lenient 
and  just ;  to  Balliol,  the  King,  he  was  proud  and  un- 
bending to  the  last  degree.' 

Not  satisfied  then  with  suzerainty,  Edward  was 
determined  to  make  Scotland  part  of  his  own 
kingdom.  The  easiest  way  to  do  that  was  to  goad 
Balliol  into  rebellion,  and  then  to  confiscate  the 
kingdom  of  Balliol.  '  This  was  what  Edward  de- 
liberately did.  The  result  was  that,  far  from  winning 
Scotland,  Edward  converted  that  nation  into  a 
dangerous  enemy,  and  presented  France  with  a 
serviceable  ally.' 

James  I.  of  Scotland,  by  his  treaty  and  the  marry- 
ing of  his  daughter  Margaret  to  the  French  Dauphin 
(afterwards  Louis  XL),  cemented  this  alliance  between 
France  and  Scotland  that  had  so  often  proved,  and 
was  so  often  through  long  years  to  continue  to  prove, 
so  inimical  to  England. 

Thus  two  years  after  this  marriage,  when  Lord 
Scrope  was  sent  to  negotiate  a  peace  with  Scotland 
on  the  basis  of  restoring  Berwick  and  Roxburgh,  it 
was  urged  in  the  Scots  Parliament  that  peace  could 
not  be  made  without  the  consent  of  France. 

Death  prevented,  however,  Edward  i.'s  plans  for 


the  subjugation  of  Scotland  from  being  realised ; 
Bannockburn  also  intervened;  and  in  1328  by  the 
Treaty  of  Northampton  Scottish  independence  was 
definitely  recognised. 

'There  was  to  be  perpetual  peace  between  the 
two  kingdoms ;  the  Coronation  Stone  was  to  be  re- 
stored to  Scone  (which  has  never  been  fulfilled  to  this 
day),  and  the  King  of  England  was  to  use  his  good 
offices  at  the  Papal  See  to  obtain  remission  from 
excommunication  for  the  King  of  Scots. 

'The  Ragman  Roll,  being  the  damning  record  of 
all  the  Scottish  gentlemen  who  had  done  fealty  to 
Edward  i.,  was  to  be  returned  to  Scotland,  and  also 
that  chip  of  the  true  Cross  which  the  Scots  had 
learned  to  revere  as  the  Black  Rood.1 

'  In  return  for  the  surrender  of  all  claim  to 
suzerainty  on  the  part  of  England,  the  Scottish 
government  bound  itself  to  pay  £20,000  in  three 
instalments  at  Tweedmouth.'2 

This  final  reconciliation  was  to  be  consummated 
by  the  marriage,  which  took  place  in  the  following 
year,  between  the  son  of  King  Robert — David  n. — 
and  the  Princess  Joanna,  daughter  of  Edward  in. 

1  The  Black  Rood  was  a  large  crucifix,  with  figures  of  St.  Mary  and 
St.  John,  of  silver  ;  but  a  small  gold  crucifix,  probably  with  a  relic  of  the 
Cross  enclosed  in  it,  which  had  been  St.  Margaret's,  was  apparently  also 
called  the  Black  Cross  or  Eood.    Both  were  at  Durham.     See  Bites  of 
Durham,  ed.  Fowler.     (Surtees  Society,  vol.  cvii.) 

2  Sir  Herbert  Maxwell,  The  Story  of  the  Tweed. 



It  needs  not  to  invoke  the  rnuse,  to  apostrophise 
Clio,  in  order  to  discover  who  first  set  afoot  the  feud, 
or  '  blew  the  coal '  betwixt  the  English  and  the  Scots. 

Edward  I.  would  doubtless  willingly  lay  claim 
to  be  the  founder,  for  he  certainly  hated  the  Scots 
as  much  as  they  hated  him.  It  was  owing  to 
his  policy  that  the  bickerings  betwixt  English  and 
Scots,  which  had  been  at  first  intermittent,  and  as  it 
were  merely  occasional  diversions — to  the  people  of 
those  days  what  football  matches  are  to  ours,  or  the 
usual  activities  of  one  sovereign  against  the  other's 
realm  at  a  favourable  moment,  when  he  was  ill  or 
abroad — grew  into  '  deadly  feud '  and  separated  the 
two  nations  as  with  a  fresh  vallum  or  dyke  of  hatred 
for  some  three  hundred  years. 

When  Edward  died — it  was  on  6th  July  1307,  near 
Burgh-upon-Sands,  by  Solway,  with  his  eyes  looking 
towards  Scotland,  fulfilled  of  anger  and  longing  for 
vengeance — *  he  made  his  son  promise,'  writes  Sir 
Walter  Scott,  '  never  to  make  peace  with  Scotland 
until  the  nation  was  subdued.  He  gave  also  very 
singular  directions  concerning  the  disposal  of  his 
dead  body.  He  ordered  that  it  should  be  boiled  in 


a  cauldron  till  the  flesh  parted  from  the  bones,  and 
that  the  bones  should  be  wrapped  up  in  a  bull's  hide 
and  carried  at  the  head  of  the  English  Army  as  often 
as  the  Scots  attempted  to  recover  their  freedom. 

1  His  son,  Edward  the  Second,  did  not  choose  to 
execute  the  strange  injunction,  but  caused  his  father 
to  be  buried  in  Westminster  Abbey  ;  where  his  tomb 
is  still  to  be  seen,  bearing  for  an  inscription  : — 

'"Edwardus  longus  Scotorum  malleus  hie  est." 
(Here  lies  Edward  Longshanks,  the  hammer  of  the 
Scots.) ' 

Stow  in  his  Annales  merely  says  that  the  King 
'  being  himselfe  vexed  with  the  bloodie  flixe  [flux]  he 
sent  unto  his  sonne  that  he  should  come  with  speede 
to  heare  his  last  wordes  whome,  among  other  thinges, 
he  did  consell  to  bee  merciful,  just  and  constant  in 
all  his  wordes  and  deedes :  he  commaunded  him  not 
to  be  too  hastie  to  take  upon  him  this  Crowne  of 
England,  untill  hee  had  revenged  this  doone  by  the 
Scottes,  but  rather  to  staye  in  those  parts,  and  to 
cause  his  Father's  bones  (being  closed  in  a  chest)  to 
be  borne  about  with  him,  till  he  had  gone  throrow  all 
Scotland  and  overcome  his  adversaries.' 




'  For  here  be  some  have  pushed  as  far 
On  Scottish  ground  as  to  Dunbar  ; 
Have  drunk  the  monks  of  St.  Bothan's  ale 
And  driven  the  beeves  of  Lauderdale, 
Harried  the  wives  of  Greenlaw's  goods 
And  given  them  light  to  set  their  hoods.' 


LESLIE  in  the  '  nynt  bulk '  of  his  History  of  Scotland, 
under  date  1531,  writes  : — 

'  Quhen  the  King  of  Ingland  saw  that  his  bordour's 
war  in  gret  danger,  gif  the  Scot's  bourdour  maid  ony 
invasione  or  onset,  cheiflie  because  the  Inglis  bordour 
was  sa  il  inhabited,1  sa  few  in  multitude,  and  the 
Scotis  bordour  sa  weil  inhabited,  and  in  sik  multiplie ; 
he  consulted  with  al  his  estates  how  to  remeid  this. 

1  About  the  same  date  Sir  Robert  Bowes,  in  his  Book  of  the  State  of  the 
Frontiers  and  Marches,  tells  us  that  the  '  great  occasion  of  the  disorder  of 
bothe  those  Countries  [Tyndale  and  Redesdale]  is  yt  there  be  mo  in- 
habitants within  eyther  of  them,  then  the  said  Countries  may  susteine  to 
live  trewlie,  for  upon  a  ferme  of  a  noble  rent  there  do  inhabite  in  some 
place  there  iii  or  iiij  householders,  etc.'  We  may  conclude  perhaps  that 
the  Scots  soil  being  richer  furnished  an  easier  subsistence  proportionately  to 
the  number  of  its  inhabitants  and  repaid  cultivation  better  than  the  soil  of 
the  English  Marches. 


His  wil  was  to  rais  a  taxte  throuch  al  Ingland,  that 
as  the  Scotis  bordour  was  well  disponet  for  the 
inhabitouris  in  hilis  and  dales,  sa  mycht  the  Inglis 
be  brocht  to  the  same  dis-positioence :  bot  because 
the  Inglishmen  war  wonnt  ay  to  be  frie  of  custome, 
nawyse  wil  tha  grant  that  custome  to  the  King,  and 
sa  nathing  was  concludet  quhat  the  King  requiret.' 

Probably  then  even  in  early  days  the  Scottish 
Border  was  more  fertile  and  better  cultivated  than 
the  English :  certainly  the  great  vale  of  the  Tweed 
suggests  fertility,  in  strong  contrast  to  the  barrenness 
of  the  Coquet,  Rede  and  North  Tyne.  c  Scotland 
shows  like  a  fair  garden,'  said  a  shepherd  in  the 
writer's  presence  not  many  years  ago  on  the  height 
of  Windy  Gyle,  glancing  forward  to  the  distant  pro- 
spect northward,  after  viewing  the  bleak  moorland 
behind  him  that  spread  away  to  the  water  of  Coquet. 

To-day  lambs  will  'make'  five  shillings  more 
through  the  winter  if  pastured  on  the  north  side  of 
the  Tweed;  potatoes  will  bring  in  a  greater  return 
per  ton  and  wheat  per  boll  when  grown  upon  the 
Scots  side  of  the  Border  river. 

'  The  rich  old  red  sandstone  is  the  root  cause  of  it,' 
so  a  practical  Northumbrian  farmer,  a  lessee  of  many 
acres,  assured  the  writer. 

Again,  another  advantageous  factor  for  England  in 
the  spoiling  of  her  '  old  enemy '  lay  in  the  comparative 


freedom  from  intestine  feuds  amongst  the  English 

Even  on  the  occasion  of  a  national  Scots  raid  as, 
for  example,  before  the  '  Battle  of  Otterburn,' l  when 
'  the  doughty  Douglas  bound  him  to  ride 

Into  England  to  drive  a  prey,' 
the  clan  Jardine  would  not  go  with  him. 

'  The  Jardines  would  not  with  him  ride 
And  they  rue  it  to  this  day.' 

Scots  and  English  alike  were  inbred  thieves ;  but 
the  feuds  that  broke  out  between  the  Scots  and  Kers, 
and  Kers  and  Elliots,  and  the  Maxwells  and  Johnstones 
must  often  have  sadly  hampered  their  activities,  and 
again  the  heads  of  the  great  Scottish  clans  upon 
the  marches  were  far  oftener  at  variance  with  their 
sovereign  than  was  the  case  on  the  Southern  Border, 
for  the  Scots  Borderers  in  general  were  very  loose  in 
their  alliance  to  him  whom  they  termed  occasionally 
in  contempt  '  the  King  of  Fife.' 

Now,  surveying  the  desolations  through  the 
centuries  wrought  upon  the  Border  by  either  side,  it 

1  The  opening  or  opportunity  offered  by  the  animosity  of  the  great 
Border  families  may  be  illustrated  from  Froissart,  who  says  that  the  Scots 
raid  that  terminated  in  the  Battle  of  Otterburn  was  due  to  the  quarrel 
between  Neville  and  Percy.  'The  Barons  and  Knights  of  Scotland 
knowing  of  this,  determined  on  an  inroad  to  England,  as  the 
opportunity  was  favourable,  now  that  the  English  were  quarrelling  amongst 
themselves,  to  make  some  return  for  the  many  insults  they  had  suffered 
from  them.' 


may  perhaps  be  asked  why  the  history  of  the  marches 
should  possess  such  a  fascination?  Why  should  it 
not  be  passed  by  as  but  a  record  of  the  fighting  of 
'  kites  and  crows '  ? 

The  country  itself  is  very  bare  in  aspect,  cold  in 
climate,  largely  uninhabited  to  this  day.  Harvestless  as 
ocean,  it  stretches  its  league-long  billows  of  grey-green 
grass  land  and  brown  bent  to  the  uttermost  horizon. 
Parched  by  the  harsh  winds,  cropped  by  the  grey 
mists,  and  void  of  trees,  wherein  lies  its  fascination  ? 

It  is  because  of  its  very  u,ntamed  aspect  that  it 
charms.  It  is  the  home  of  romance,  and  the  wild  land 
has  been  the  fruitful  mother  of  a  wild,  stern  chivalry. 

A  splendidly  hardy,1  Spartan  type  of  character 
resulted,  and  the  women  were  not  inferior  in  courage 
to  the  men.  Thus  when  a  Milburn,  proceeding  to 
settle  a  little  difference  in  Bellingham  with  another 
Borderer,  called  to  his  wife,  *  Wife,  bring  me  out  a 
clean  sark  :  it  sail  niver  be  said  that  the  bluid  of 
the  Milburns  ran  down  upon  foul  linen/  she 
promptly  obeyed,  and  stood  watching  the  combat 
with  discarded  '  sark '  upon  her  arm. 

Another  Milburn  of  the  same  '  grayne,'  '  Barty  of 

1  Cp.  Camden  on  Northumberland  in  his  Britannia,  p.  847.  (London, 
1695.)  '  The  country  itself  is  mostly  rough  and  barren,  and  seems  to  have 
harden'd  the  very  carcasses  of  the  inhabitants  :  whom  the  neighbouring 
Scots  have  render'd  yet  more  hardy,  sometimes  inuring  them  to  war,  and 
sometimes  amicably  communicating  their  customs  and  way  of  living.' 


the  Comb,'  who  flourished  about  the  end  of  the 
seventeenth  century,  was  the  hero  of  a  hundred  tales. 
The  following  exploit  of  his  was  told  to  the  writer 
by  a  descendant  of  the  same  family. 

One  morning  as  Barty  came  forth  from  his  Pele 
tower  he  discovered  that  his  sheep  were  missing. 
Forthwith  he  went  up  to  the  neighbouring  Pele  of 
his  friend,  Corbit  Jock,  to  inform  him  of  the  loss. 

'  Ay/  said  Corbit  Jock,  *  Scotland  will  ha'  them 

So  without  more  words  the  two  friends  set  off  upon 
the  'hot  trod.'  They  travelled  on  foot  down  the 
Blakehope  burn  into  Redewater,  and  so  over  the 
Carter  into  Scotland. 

Losing  the  track  of  the  sheep  they  determined  to 
right  themselves  by  '  lifting '  the  best  Scots  wethers 
they  knew  of,  which  were  those  at  Leatham  Farm, 
near  Souden.  There  they  selected  the  finest  of  the 
flock,  and  set  off  homewards,  driving  their  booty 
before  them.  Whereupon  the  Scotsmen,  becoming 
aware  of  this  unexpected  raid,  sent  two  of  their  best 
swordsmen  in  pursuit.  At  Chattlehope  Spout,  Barty 
and  Jock  were  overtaken,  and  a  parley  ensued.  Barty 
generously  offered  to  give  up  half  of  his  flock,  but 
'toomhanded'  he  would  not  return  home.  The 
Scotsmen,  however,  would  not  agree  to  this,  and 
soon  swords  were  swiftly  flashing  upon  the  moor. 


'Leave  the  better  man  to  me/  cried  Barty,  and  two 
desperate  duels  were  at  once  in  full  swing. 

The  Scots  swordsman  shortly  ran  Barty  through 
the  thigh,  but  the  Englishman,  with  a  sudden  wrench 
of  his  body,  succeeded  in  snapping  the  sword  in  two, 
when  he  was  promptly  attacked  by  the  second  Scot, 
who  had  already  slain  his  friend  Jock. 

Then  Barty  with  a  mighty  back-handed  sweep  of 
his  sword  caught  the  Scot  in  the  neck,  'garring  his 
heid  to  spang  alang  the  heather  like  an  inion,'  and 
then  chased  his  fresh  assailant  and  cut  him  down 
instantly.  He  then  collected  the  swords,  shouldered 
his  dead  friend,  and  drove  off  all  the  wethers  in  front 
of  him,  and  stayed  not  till  he  had  brought  back  Jock 
to  his  own  door-cheek  and  the  sheep  to  his  fold. 

The  character  of  the  Borderers  on  either  side  of 
the  march,  as  they  were  subject  to  the  same  stress 
and  similar  conditions  of  life,  did  not  vary  greatly,  and 
their  dialect  was  almost  identical.  Froissart  gives 
the  following  account  of  the  Scots  Borderers,  which 
would  probably  be  also  applicable  to  the  English  :— - 

'The  Scots  are  bold,  hardy,  and  much  inured  to 
war.  When  they  make  their  invasions  into  England, 
they  march  from  twenty  to  twenty-four  leagues * 

1  The  editor  in  a  footnote  says, '  Whenever  English  leagues  are  mentioned 
Lord  Berners  translates  them,  and  probably  correctly,  miles  :  it  is  in- 
credible that  a  body  of  men  armed  at  all  points  should  travel  from  60  to 
80  miles  a  day  on  horseback,  which  the  Scots  must  have  done,  if 
we  are  here  to  read  leagues.'  But  it  must  be  pointed  out  in  this  con- 
nection that  immediately  before  the  above  passage  of  Froissart,  it  is  stated 


without  halting,  as  well  by  night  as  by  day :  for 
they  are  all  on  horseback,  except  the  camp  followers, 
who  are  on  foot.  The  knights  and  esquires  are  well 
mounted  on  large  bay  horses,  the  common  people  on 
little  galloways. 

'  They  bring  no  carriages  with  them  on  account  of 
the  mountains  they  have  to  pass  in  Northumberland  : 
neither  do  they  carry  with  them  any  provisions  of 
bread  or  wine :  for  their  habits  of  sobriety  are  such, 
in  time  of  war,  that  they  will  live  for  a  long  time  on 
flesh  half  sodden,  without  bread,  and  drink  the  river 
water  without  wine.  They  have  therefore  no  occasion 
for  pots  or  pans :  for  they  dress  the  flesh  of  their 
cattle  in  the  skins,  after  they  have  taken  them  off : 
and,  being  sure  to  find  plenty  of  them  in  the  country 
which  they  invade,  they  carry  none  with  them. 
Under  the  flaps  of  his  saddle,  each  man  carries  a 
broad  plate  of  metal :  behind  the  saddle  a  little  bag 
of  oatmeal :  when  they  have  eaten  too  much  of  the 
sodden  flesh,  and  their  stomach  appears  weak  and 
empty,  they  place  this  plate  over  the  fire,  mix  with 
water  their  oatmeal,  and  when  the  plate  is  heated, 

that  Carlisle  is  distant  from  Newcastle  '  4  and  20  English  Leagues,'  which 
is  incorrect  if  translated  into  miles  ;  again,  it  may  be  added  that  sometimes, 
even  in  the  present  age,  the  followers  of  the  Border  Hounds  will  ride  as 
many  as  sixty  miles  in  the  day,  and  the  present  writer  has  left  home,  and 
returned  thither,  in  the  dark,  after  a  prolonged  run.  The  Borderers  of 
old  rode  out  of  necessity — the  story  of  the  Charlton  Spur  (which  is  still 
treasured  at  Hesleyside)  will  recur  to  the  memory — and  the  descendants  of 
the  ancient  'names,'  as  the  Robsons,  Dodds,  Elliots,  still  exhibit  the  like 
gift  of  horsemanship  and  tireless  riding. 


they  put  a  little  of  the  paste  upon  it,  and  make  their 
cake,  like  a  cracknel  or  biscuit,  which  they  eat  to 
warm  their  stomachs ;  it  is  therefore  no  wonder  that 
they  perform  a  longer  day's  march  than  other 

The  following  character  of  '  the  Northern  Gentry ' 
is  taken  from  Gray's  Chorographia*  first  printed  in 
1649  :- 

'  The  nobility  and  gentry  of  the  North  are  of  great 
antiquity,  and  can  produce  more  ancient  families 
than  any  other  part  of  England :  many  of  them 
gentry  before  the  conquest :  the  rest  came  in  with 
William  the  Conqueror.  The  noblemen  and  gentry 
of  the  north  hath  been  always  imployed  in  their 
native  country,  in  the  warres  of  the  Kings  of 
England  against  the  Scots  ;  all  of  them  holding  their 
lands  in  Knights  service,  to  attend  the  warres  in 
their  own  persons,  with  horse  and  speare,  as  the 
manner  of  fighting  was  in  those  dayes. 

'  Some  gentlemen  held  their  lands  in  cornage 3  by 
blowing  a  home  to  give  notice  that  the  Scots,  their 
enemies,  had  invaded  the  land.  The  Scots,  their 

1  P.  18,  vol.  ii.     Froissart.     Johnes' translation.     (G.  Routledge  &  Sons.) 

2  See  p.  67  of  Eeprints.    (Richardson,  Newcastle.)   1813. 

3  Cornage.    This  is  an  ancient  and  picturesque  error.     Cornage  is  the  O.  F. 
cornage — the  'droit  qui  se  levait  sur  les  betes  a  cornes.'     As  Robertson 
points  out  in  his  Historical  Essays,  '  The  tenure  of  a  pastoral  state  of 
society  was  Cornage.     The  herd  was  numbered,  or  the  flock,  the  tenth 
animal  was  set  apart  as  the  prerogative  of  the  King  or  Overlord.' 


neighbouring  enemies,  hath  made  the  inhabitants  of 
Northumberland  fierce  and  hardy,  whiles  sometimes 
they  kept  themselves  exercised  in  the  warres  :  being 
a  most  warre-like  nation,  and  excellent  good  light 
horsemen,  wholly  addicting  themselves  to  wars  and 
armes,  not  a  gentleman  amongst  them,  that  hath  not 
his  castle  or  tower :  and  so  it  was  divided  into  a 
number  of  barronies,  the  lords  whereof,  in  times  past, 
before  King  Edward  the  First's  days,  went  commonly 
under  the  name  of  barons,  although  some  of  them 
were  of  no  great  living.  It  was  the  policy  of  the 
Kings  of  England  to  cherish  and  maintain  martiall 
prowesse  among  them,  in  the  Marches  of  the 
Kingdome  if  it  were  nothing  else,  but  with  an 
honourable  bare  title.  Some  gentlemen  of  the  north 
are  called  to  this  day  Barons/ 

It  must  not  be  forgotten  that  the  inhabitants  of 
the  Border  on  either  side  regarded  the  vocation  of 
raiding  and  reiving  as  an  art,  a  rougher  sort  of 

'  I  would  have  none  think  that  I  call  them  Thieves ; 
For  if  I  did  it  would  be  arrant  lies.' 

So  Captain  Walter  Scot  of  Satchel  wrote  in  the 
seventeenth  century  of  the  Armstrongs,  and  regard- 
ing the  Borderer  in  this  wise  we  need  not  be  con- 
cerned about  his  fate,  for  the  perfect  hunter  goes,  as 
Gaston  de  Foix  says  advisedly,  tout  droit  en  paradis. 


'  Hunting  causeth  a  man  to  eschew  the  7  deadly 
sins,'  so  it  is  written  in  the  book  of  the  Master  of 
Game,  and  again,  '  Men  are  better  when  riding,  more 
just  and  more  understanding,  and  more  alert  and 
more  at  ease,  and  more  undertaking,  and  better 
knowing  of  all  countries  and  all  passages :  in  short 
and  long  all  good  customs  and  manners  cometh 
thereof,  and  the  health  of  man  and  of  his  soul.' 

Sir  Philip  Sidney — the  Bayard  of  England — sans 
peur  et  sans  reproche,  that  'very  gentle  parfit  knight/ 
rightly  divined  the  jewel  that  lay  beneath  the  hard 
aspect  of  the  country  and  the  harsh,  nay,  often  brutal, 
deeds  of  the  '  Borderers  dwelland  on  the  marches ' ; 
and  Goldsmith  wrote  thus  in  his  Essays,  '  The  music 
of  the  most  accomplished  singer  is  dissonance,  to  what 
I  felt  when  an  old  dairymaid  sang  me  into  tears  with 
"  Johnie  Armstrong's  Last  Good  Night." 

In  his  deft  and  memorable  words,  Sir  Philip  Sidney 
likened  the  Border  Ballad  to  the  trumpet's  sound,  as 
he  wrote  in  his  Apologie  for  Poetrie :  c  Certainly  I 
must  confess  my  barbarousness,  I  never  heard  the  old 
story  of  Percy  and  Douglas  that  I  found  not  my  heart 
moved  more  than  with  a  trumpet;  and  yet  it  is  sung 
but  by  some  blind  crowder,  with  no  rougher  voice  than 
rude  style ;  which  being  so  evil  apparrelled  in  the  dust 
and  cobwebs  of  that  uncivil  age,  what  would  it  work 
trimmed  in  the  gorgeous  Eloquence  of  Pindare  f ' 


Sir  Philip  had  stayed  upon  the  Western  March  as 
a  guest  at  Brougham  Castle,  and  there,  it  is  said,  had 
written  part  of  his  Arcadia  :  he  may  even  have  seen 
the  bale  fire  on  Penrith  beacon  flame  on  the  mid- 
night sky  as  it  handed  on  the  red  warning  from 
Skiddaw  that  the  Scots  or  the  '  Batablers '  were 
'  riding.' 

Life  upon  the  Borders,  during  those  centuries  of 
raiding,  to  our  modern  mind  no  doubt  seems  un- 
endurable, a  monotonous  breaking  of  the  Sixth  and 
Eighth  Commandments.  Yet  even  then  there  were 
peaceful  intervals,  it  must  not  be  forgotten,  when  the 
various  '  names '  or  clans  on  either  march  wended  their 
way  to  the  high  fells  with  their  flocks,  and  spent  their 
spring  and  summer  in  pastoral  occupations,  and  would 
converse  with  each  other  even  as  outlying  picquets 
of  soldiers  do  when  a  truce  has  been  proclaimed. 
They  got  to  know  each  other  then  :  they  met  also  at 
football  matches  and  horse  races,  and  we  read  of  Scots 
and  English  entering  into  '  bonds '  for  each  other  at 
Border  meetings  or  days  of  truce. 

You  read  of  '  Humprey  Musgrave '  (Lord  Scrope's 
deputy)  taking  the  Laird  of  Mangerton  prisoner  in 
his  own  house  in  Liddesdale,  and  bringing  him 
prisoner  to  Carlisle  '  to  answere  what  shalbe  layd  unto 
him.'  Then  again  later  you  read  of  a  horse  race  in 
Liddesdale  where  Humprey  Musgrave's  horse  '  Bay 


Sandforth '  '  ran  and  won  all  the  3  bells,'  and  was 
presently  given  to  the  Laird  of  Mangerton.1 

The  education  of  the  ancient  Persians,  so  Xenophon 
tells  us,  was  devoted  to  the  inculcation  of  three  virtues, 
riding,  shooting,  and  speaking  the  truth.  That 
of  the  Borderers  of  old  was  devoted  to  a  somewhat 
similar  Trivium,  riding,  raiding,  and  keeping  troth. 

The  keeping  troth  meant  loyalty  to  their  word,  but 
it  also  included  loyalty  to  their  chief  or  headsman. 

Thus  Constable,2  employed  as  a  spy  by  Sir  Ralph 
Sadler,  says  that  '  they  would  not  care  to  steal,  and 
yet  they  would  not  bewray  any  man  that  trust  in 
them  for  all  the  gold  in  Scotland  and  France/  And 
again  in  regard  to  the  Regent  Murray,  who  sur- 
rendered the  Earl  of  Northumberland  to  Elizabeth, 
and  Hector  of  Harlaw  (an  Armstrong),  who  betrayed 
him  when  he  had  taken  refuge  in  Scotland  after  the 
failure  of  the  rising  of  the  North,  this  same  Constable 
reports  the  indignation  of  the  Borderers,  '  some  out- 
laws of  England,  some  of  Scotland,"*  against  the 
Regent  Murray  and  Hector  of  Harlaw  as  follows  : — 

'  I  hard,  vox  populi,  that  the  Lord  Regent  would 
not,  for  his  own  honor,  nor  for  the  honor  of  his 
country,  deliver  the  Earles,  if  he  had  them  bo  the, 
unless  it  were  to  have  there  Quene  delivered  to  him, 

1  See  Calendar  of  Border  Papers,  vol.  i.  pp.  127  and  180. 

2  Sadler,  State  Papers,  vol.  ii.  pp.  380-95.     (Edinburgh,  1809.) 


and  if  he  wold  agre  to  make  that  change  the 
Borderers  wold  stert  up  in  his  contrary,  and  rescue 
both  the  Quene  and  the  Lords  from  him,  for  the  like 
shame  was  never  done  in  Scotland ;  and  that  he  durst 
better  eate  his  owne  luggs  than  come  again  to  seke 
Farneherst ;  if  he  did,  he  should  be  fought  with  ere 
he  came  over  Soutrey  edge.  Hector  of  Harlowe's  hedd 
was  wished  to  have  been  eaten  among  us  at  supper.' 

A  proverbial  saying,  which  dates  from  this  time, 
*  to  take  Hector's  cloak/  denoted  the  infamy  of  such 
betraying  of  faith.  Froissart  also  alluded  to  the  same 
faithfulness.  '  English  and  Scots  are  excellent  men 
at  arms,'  he  says,  '  and  whenever  they  meet  in  battle 
they  do  not  spare  each  other ;  nor  is  there  any  check 
to  their  courage  so  long  as  the  weapons  endure. 
When  they  have  well  beaten  each  other,  and  one 
party  is  victorious,  they  are  so  proud  of  the  conquest 
that  they  ransom  their  prisoners  instantly,  and  in  such 
courteous  manner  to  those  who  have  been  taken,  that 
on  their  departure  they  return  them  their  thanks.' 

If  when  the  time  of  payment  arrived  the  prisoner 
was  not  able  to  settle  with  his  captor,  he  would  at 
once  surrender  himself.  There  is  a  celebrated  instance 
of  the  loyalty  of  the  follower  to  his  chief  in  the 
tracking  of  Starkhed,  one  of  the  murderers  of  Sir 
Robert  Ker,  the  Scottish  Warden,  at  a  Border  meeting 
in  1511. 


Starkhed  fled,  it  is  said,  nearly  as  far  south  as 
York,  and  there  lived  in  private  and  upon  his  guard. 
'Yet  in  this  place  of  security  he  was  surprised  and 
murdered  by  two  of  Sir  Robert  Kerr's  followers,  who 
brought  his  head  to  their  master,  by  whom,  in 
memorial  of  their  vengeance,  it  was  exposed  at  the 
Cross  of  Edinburgh.' 

Sir  Walter  Scott,  alluding  to  this  in  his  introduction 
to  Border  antiquities,  writes  : — 

'  As  the  Chief  was  expected  to  protect  his  followers, 
in  good  and  evil,  from  the  assaults  of  their  neighbours, 
and  even  from  the  pursuit  of  justice,  the  followers  and 
clansmen  were  expected,  on  the  other  hand,  to  exhibit 
the  deepest  marks  of  devotion  to  his  interest,  never 
to  scruple  at  his  commands  when  alive,  and  in  case  of 
his  death  by  violence,  to  avenge  him,  at  whatever 
risk  to  themselves/ 

Thinking  upon  these  rugged  virtues  of  the  wild 
Borderers,  we  may  '  confess  our  barbarousness/  for 
they  developed  a  type  of  character  which  has  lasted 
with  advantage  to  the  State  to  the  present  day. 

Underneath  the  'barbarousness'  lay  the  warm 
heart,  the  set  purpose  and  the  firm  faith  of  the 
Borderer,  and  the  fine  lines  of  the  great  Northum- 
brian poet  may  well  be  applied,  though  written  in 
honour  of  Northumberland,  to  the  whole  extent  of 
the  Borderland. 


'  None  save  our  Northmen  ever,  none  but  we, 

Met,  pledged  or  fought 

Such  foes  and  friends  as  Scotland  and  the  sea 
With  head  so  high  and  equal,  strong  in  glee 

And  stern  in  thought. 

The  splendour  and  the  strength  of  storm  and  fight 

Sustain  the  song 

That  filled  our  fathers'  hearts  with  joy  to  smite, 
To  live,  to  love,  to  lay  down  life  that  right 

Might  tread  down  wrong. 

They  warred,  they  sang,  they  triumphed  and  they  passed, 

And  left  us  glad 

Here  to  be  born  their  sons,  whose  hearts  hold  fast 
The  proud  old  love  no  change  can  overcast, 

No  chance  leave  sad.' 


'  The  people  of  this  country  hath  had  one  barbarous 
custom  amongst  them  :  if  any  two  be  displeased,  they 
expect  no  law,  but  bang  it  out  bravely,  one  and  his 

1  '  Deadly  feud ' — arising  originally  out  of  the  spirit  of  clanship  and  pride 
of  family— was  extended  even  to  cases  tried  at  the  assizes  out  of  arrogance 
and  brutality. 

Thus  Musgrave  in  a  report  to  Burghley  concerning  'Border  Eiders' 
(Calendar  of  Border  Papers)  says  : — 

'  Hardly  deare  anie  gentlemen  of  the  cuntrey  be  of  any  jury  of  lyfe  and 
death  yf  any  of  them  be  indyted,  as  the  justices  of  that  circuit  can  testefie, 
they  are  growne  so  to  seke  bloode,  for  they  will  make  a  quarrell  for  the 
death  of  their  grandfather,  and  they  will  kyll  any  of  the  name  they  are  in 
feade  with.' 



kindred  against  the  other  and  his :  they  will  subject 
themselves  to  no  justice,  but  in  an  inhuman  and 
barbarous  manner,  fight  and  kill  one  another ;  they 
run  together  clangs  (as  they  tarme  it),  or  names. 
This  fighting  they  call  their  feides,  or  deadly  feides ; 
a  word  so  barbarous  that  I  cannot  explain  it  in  any 
other  tongue. 

'  Of  late  since  the  union  of  the  kingdomes,  the 
heathenish  bloody  custom  is  repressed,  and  good 
laws  made  against  such  barbarous  and  unchristian 
misdemeanours  and  fightings.' 

So  wrote  Gray  of  the  Northumbrian,  but  the 
Scottish  Borderer  obeyed  the  old  Hebraic  precept  of 
'  eye  for  eye  and  tooth  for  tooth '  even  more  devoutly, 
the  'perfervidum  ingenium  Scotorum'1  being  peculi- 
arly manifested  therein. 

The  length  to  which  such  a  feud  might  go  is  well 
illustrated  by  the  mutual  hatred  of  the  Johnstone 
and  Maxwell  clans. 

This  feud  arose  in  1585,  when  John,  Lord  Maxwell, 
falling  under  the  displeasure  of  the  Court,  was 
denounced  rebel,  and  a  commission  was  given  to 

1  Note  to  Leyden's  '  Ode  on  visiting  Flodden '  (Border  Minstrelsy,  vol.  iii., 
Cadell's  Edition),  where  it  is  written  that  'in  the  Border  Counties  of 
Scotland,  it  was  formerly  customary,  whenever  any  rancorous  enmity 
subsisted  between  two  clans,  to  leave  the  right  hand  of  male  children 
unchristened,  that  it  might  deal  the  more  deadly,  or,  according  to  the 
popular  phrase,  "unhallowed  blows"  to  their  enemies.  By  this  super- 
stitious rite,  they  were  devoted  to  bear  the  family  feud,  or  enmity.' 


the   Laird   of  Johnstone   (then   Warden)   to   arrest 

In  the  fighting  that  ensued  Johnstone's  castle  of 
Lochwood  was  burned,  and  he  himself  subsequently 
defeated  and  made  prisoner,  of  which  disgrace,  it  is 
said,  he  died. 

Maxwell  was  now  made  Warden  and  subscribed  a 
bond  of  alliance  with  Sir  James  Johnstone,  but  in 
1593  the  feud  broke  out  again,  and  at  the  battle  by 
Dryffe  Sands,  near  Lockerby,  Johnstone  was  victorious 
and  Maxwell  was  cruelly  slain.  Maxwell's  son  swore 
deep  revenge,  and  in  1608  accomplished  his  purpose 
by  the  basest  treachery.  The  murderer  fled,  but  was 
eventually  apprehended  after  his  return  from  France, 
and  condemned  and  beheaded  in  1613. 

'  Thus,'  wrote  Sir  Walter  Scott  in  the  Border 
Minstrelsy  ('  Lord  Maxwell's  Good  Night '),  '  was 
finally  ended  by  a  salutary  example  of  severity,  the 
foul  debate  betwixt  the  Maxwells  and  Johnstones, 
in  the  course  of  which  each  family  lost  two  chieftains ; 
one  dying  of  a  broken  heart,  one  in  the  field  of  battle, 
one  by  assassination,  and  one  by  the  sword  of  the 

'  Though  I  have  slain  the  Lord  Johnstone, 

What  care  I  for  their  f eid  1 
My  noble  mind  their  wrath  disdains, — 
He  was  my  Father's  deid. 


Both  night  and  day  I  labour'd  oft 

Of  him  avenged  to  be ; 
But  now  I  've  got  what  lang  I  sought, 

And  I  may  not  stay  with  thee.' 

These  family  vendettas  were  an  'unconscionable 
time  a-dying '  out,  for  '  all  is  dishonorabell/  said 
Alexander  Napier  in  1600  when  offered  £1000  by 
Buccleugh,  the  first  Lord  Scott,  as  blood  money  for 
his  brother's  slaughter,  '  quhair  there  is  not  eie  for 
eie  and  tuith  for  tuith.' 

And  finally  in  1611,  James  vi.  and  I.  has  to  call 
upon  the  Privy  Council — the  deadly  feud  between 
Veitches  and  Tweedies  being  yet  unreconciled — to 
summon  before  them  '  the  principals  of  either 
surname/  and  force  them  to  agree  upon  pain  of 





THE  survey  of  1541  sets  forth  the  boundary  betwixt 
England  and  Scotland,  and  describes  the  three  divisions 
of  the  Eastern,  Middle,  and  Western  Marches,  which 
stretched  from  Berwick  to  the  Hanging  Stone  on 
Cheviot,  from  Hanging  Stone  to  Cryssop  (or  Kershope 
foot),  and  from  Cryssop  to  Carlisle. 

Thus  the  Border  line  ran  from  the  North  to  the 
Irish  Sea,  from  the  river  Tweed  to  Solway,  athwart 
'  Cheviot's  mountain  lone,'  along  the  Windy  Gyle,1 
where  Warden  frequently  met  Warden  (and  where 
Lord  Francis  Russell  was  slain  in  1585 — a  cairn  still 
marking  the  spot),  by  the  Reidswire  at  head  of  the 
Rede  (where  the  famous  raid  took  place  in  1575) 

1  The  trysting-places  of  the  Wardens  of  the  Marches  seem  usually  to 
have  been,  for  the  Eastern  March  the  Hanging  Stone  on  Cheviot  or  the 
Riding  burn  ;  for  the  Middle,  Hexpeth  gate  on  Windy  Gyle  or  Gambles- 
path — slightly  farther  westward — at  head  of  Coquet ;  and  for  the  Western, 
Kielder  stone  and  Kershope  foot.  Cp.  Lord  Scrope's  report,  '  Cesford  also 
demanded  meeting  at  Gamblespath,  instead  of  Kirshopfoot,  the  accustomed 
place,  and  put  off  justice  for  five  years.'  (Calendar  of  Border  Papers.) 


across  Catcleugh  Shin  and  broad  Carter  Fell  to  Peel 
Fell,  beyond  Kielder  and  the  mighty  Kielder  stone 
where  the  western  Wardens  met,  thence  to  the 
meeting  of  the  Kershope  burn  with  the  Liddle  water, 
and  so  by  Esk  to  the  Eden  and  the  ancient  Roman 
town  of  Luguvallum — the  fair,  red-walled  town  of 
'  merry  Carlisle.' 

What  a  host  of  warlike  and  romantic  memories 
follow  upon  these  names  ! 

Berwick-upon-Tweed — bone  of  contention  through 
the  centuries  betwixt  English  and  Scots — taken  and 
retaken  thirteen  times,  till  Edward  iv.  in  1482 
finally  secured  it  to  the  English  realm — jealously 
guarded  by  the  Warden  of  the  Eastern  Marches — the 
'  fairest  jewel  in  her  crown,'  as  Queen  Elizabeth  styled 
it.  Cheviot — land  and  sea  mark  alike,  from  whose 
eastern  height  you  can  see  the  storied  coast  of 
Northumberland  with  its  mighty  castles  —  proud 
Bamborough,  lonely  Dunstanburgh,  and  a  little 
beyond  and  set  within  the  sea  Holy  Island  and  the 
Fames,  with  their  undying  memories  of  saintliness 
and  courage.  On  its  western  side  you  can  see  over 
into  Scotland  across  the  dipping  hills,  and  from  afar 
descry  the  purple  Eildons  in  the  vale  of  Tweed  so 
beloved  by  Sir  Walter  Scott,  who  dwelt  within  their 
shadow,  the  scene  of  many  a  Chevy  Chase  and 
innumerable  skirmishes  :  as  also  the  line  of  Watling 


Street  on  its  way  to  Ad  Fines  Camp  at  the  head  of 
Coquet,  where  the  Roman  lituus  sounded  to  the 
earlier  forays  of  Roman  and  Briton  against  the  Picts. 
On  again  the  eye  can  travel  westward  in  the  direction 
of  Liddesdale,  where  the  fiercest  of  the  Borderers — 
the  Elliots  and  the  Armstrongs — lived  secure  within 
their  '  swyres,'  and  finally  the  imagination  will  wing 
its  way  on  to  high  Skiddaw,  within  whose  shadow 
lies  Carlisle,  whereof  the  Lord  Warden  of  the  Western 
March  kept  the  castle,  save  when  Buccleugh  in  1596, 
the  date  of  the  last  great  Border  exploit,  broke  in 
and  took  thereout  '  Kinmont  Will '  in  despite  of  the 
Lord  Scrope. 

A  romantic  land  indeed,  and  beyond  all  others  the 
scene  of  perpetual  fightings — even  from  before  the 
advent  of  the  Romans  right  down  to  1745,  when 
Prince  Charlie  took  for  some  few  weeks  '  the  red 
town '  into  Jacobite  keeping. 

We  set  down  here  the  following  description  of  the 
Borders  as  given  in  a  draft  of  Thomas  Phillips1 
(Walsingham's  secretary)in  Queen  Elizabeth's  reign: — 

'The  Borders  are  the  three  shires  of  Northumberland, 
Westmerland  and  Comberland,  which  are  the  parts 
farthest  north  of  England  adjoyning  uppon  Scotland. 
They  are  devided  according  to  theyr  situacion  into 
3  marches — the  est  marche,  the  west  marche,  the 

1  See  Calendar  of  Border  Papers,  vol.  i.  pp,  30-33. 


middle  marche.  The  est  marche  contayning  the  part 
of  Northomberland  which  is  near  unto  Scotland  on  the 
Est  side  of  England,  beginning  at  a  place  called  the 
Hanging  Stone  at  the  west  end  of  the  Forrest  of 
Cheviot,  and  so  coming  down  by  a  little  rinnel  or 
brooke,  called  Caudgate,  which  fallyth  into  the  river 
of  Till,  stretches  as  the  old  Borderers  of  the  middle 
marche  affirme,  from  the  north  side  of  Bewick 
Lordshippe  down  the  water  of  Warne  to  the  Warne- 
ford,  as  the  Lordshippes  of  Bamborough  and  Alnewick 
are  divided.  But  as  the  est  Borderers  say,  the  river 
of  Ale  (Aln)  maketh  the  division :  which  opinion 
semeth  presentlye  to  take  place,  part  of  Alnwicke 
lordshipp  being  numbered  with  that  marche.' 

Sir  Robert  Bowes  in  his  Report  wrote  that  '  of  the 
perfect  bounder  betwene  these  two  marches  I  could 
never  be  certen/  but  points  out  that  'the  Lord 
Ewrie/  Warden  of  the  East  March,  'clamed  from 
the  confines  of  Berwike  south-eastward  to  the  water 
of  Aile,  and  so  downe  that  water  to  the  sea  to  be  all 
of  the  East  Marches,  and  his  argument  was  because 
(as  he  said)  all  villages  in  that  quarter  were  contribu- 
torie  to  the  findinge  of  the  beakne  at  Lawes  Castle. 

'  The  west  marches  are  the  two  shires  of  Comberland 
and  Westmorland,  beginning,  at  Carsopp  rigg,  or  as 
the  West  Borderers  and  Scottes  affirme,  at  the  foote 
of  Carsopp  or  Carsopp  rigg,  a  common  passage 


where  many  spoyles  were  wont  to  enter  into  the 
border,  and  therefore  the  jurisdiction  for  the  holle 
refused  by  the  Wardens,  because  the  custom  was  in 
former  times  that  the  same  marche  wher  goods  entred, 
should  be  answerable  for  them  at  the  day  of  truce. 

'  The  middle  marches  bounded  as  before  on  the  est 
part,  and  on  the  west  descending  from  Carsopp  down 
to  Poutreshe,1  and  so  further  as  the  knowen  division 
goes  of  the  shires  of  Westmorland  and  Comberland, 
contayneth  the  rest  of  Northumberland.' 

There  was  some  doubt  as  to  the  precise  western 
limit  of  the  Middle  March,  for,  as  Sir  Robert  Bowes 
remarks  in  his  Survey,2 '  At  Carsoppe  [Kershope]  hath 
been  some  alteracion  or  doubt  what  partye  thereof 
is  the  true  meetes  or  boundes,  betwene  the  west 
marches  of  England  and  the  middle  marches,  for 
the  Borderers  of  the  middle  marches  of  England 
affirme  that  the  division  is  at  Carsopp  rigge  or 
Cassenburne  [Ghristinbury]  cragge,  and  both  the 
Scottes  and  the  Borderers  of  the  west  marches  of 
England  affirme  that  the  bounder  betweene  ye  said 

1  Sir  Robert  Bowes  calls  it '  Powtresse '  (Poltross),  a  burn  which  runs 
into  the  Irthing  from  the  south  somewhat  west  of  Thirlwall  Castle. 

2  It  will  perhaps  be  of  interest  to  the  reader  to  know  where  to  find  the 
report  made  of  the  English  Border — the  Survey  in  1550  by  Sir  Robert 
Bowes  which  he  calls  his  Informations.     This  Survey  of  the  Border  is 
printed  in  Hodgson's  History  of  Northumberland,  and  also  from  a  foolscap 
folio    MS.    from  Sir    Cuthbert    Sharp's    library,    in    Eeprints,    vol.    iv. 
(Historical).     (Richardson,  Newcastle.) 


marches  is  at  the  foote  of  Cassope  or  Carsope  bridge, 
which  is  a  common  and  waye  as  well  for  the  theves 
of  Tyndall,  Bew  Castle,  and  Gillesland  in  England 
as  for  the  theves  of  Liddesdale  in  Scotland  with 
there  stollen  goodes  from  th'  one  realm  to  th'  other.' 

In  the  accompanying  map 1  Speed  evidently  follows 
the  opinion  of  the  Borderers  of  the  Middle  March, 
for  he  rounds  Northumberland  off  by  Christinbury 
crag,  not  by  Kershope  foot. 

From  the  above  and  from  the  musters  of  the 
East  and  Middle  Marches,  as  also  from  the  musters 
of  Cumberland  and  Westmoreland  made  by  the 
command  of  the  various  Lord  Wardens,  one  gathers 
that  for  purposes  of  Border  warfare  all  dwellers  in 
Northumberland  and  Cumberland  and  at  least  half 
of  those  in  Westmoreland  might  be  called  upon  by 
their  various  Wardens  to  take  part  in  offensive  or 
defensive  fighting.2 

1  Crosses  have  been  added  to  this  map  at  the  generally  accepted  divisions 
of  the  marches  where  the  Wardens  met. 


It  was  definitely  enacted  by  the  Border  Laws,  as  will  be  shown  later, 
that  every  man  must  '  rise  and  follow  the  fray,  upon  blowing  of  horn,  shout, 
or  outcry  ;  upon  pain  of  death '  (Articles  revised  at  Newcastle,  sixth  year 
of  Edward  vi.),  but  from  the  first  apportionment  of  lordships  or  manors  by 
William  the  Conqueror  military  service  against  the  Scots  seems  to  have 
been  included  in  their  tenures. 

'  The  tenants  of  the  several  manors  were  obliged  all  along,  upon  firing  of 
beacons  or  other  warning,  to  attend  their  lord  in  the  service  of  the  Borders 
at  their  own  expense ;  which  attendance  might  be  prolonged  for  40  days. 






Thus  the  East  March  from  Berwick  to  the 
Hanging  Stone  on  Cheviot,  and  southward  and 
eastward  therefrom  to  Alnmouth,  was  liable  to  be 
mustered  by  the  Warden  of  the  East  March. 

The  '  cumbersome '  Middle  March  from  Cheviot  to 
Kershope  foot  westward,  and  southward  as  far  as  the 
Tyne — together  with  Hexhamshire  and  Allendale — 
was  liable  to  be  mustered  by  the  Warden  of  the 
Middle  March. 

The  Tynemouth  footmen  seem  to  have  been 
excepted,  for  Sir  Robert  Bowes  reports  '  that  of  late 
yt  was  ordered  that  the  fottmen  within  the  ye 
Lordshippe  of  Tynmouth  should  be  attendant  upon 
the  Castle  there,  and  not  to  assemble  with  the 

And  according  to  the  value  of  their  respective  tenements,  some  were  obliged 
to  serve  on  horseback,  and  others  on  foot,  with  their  proper  accoutrements. 
Hence  there  were  nag  tenements  and  foot  tenements  :  the  owners  whereof 
were  obliged  to  furnish  their  stipulated  number  respectively,  on  pain  of 
forfeiting  their  estate  to  this  lord.  Within  the  manor  of  Bewcastle  in 
particular,  they  seem  to  have  been  all  nag  tenements  ;  for  in  the  reservation 
of  an  heriot  to  the  lord  upon  the  death  of  a  tenant,  there  is  an  exception 
of  the  riding  horse  of  every  such  tenant,  kept  by  him  for  the  lord's  service, 
according  to  various  custom.'  (Burn  and  Nicholson,  vol.  i.  p.  8.)  Again,  in 
the  '  Survey  of  the  Debateable  and  Border  Lands  adjoining  the  Kealm  of 
Scotland  and  belonging  to  the  Crown  of  England,  taken  in  1604'  (printed 
by  Sanderson,  Alnwick,  1891,  from  Additional  MS.  14,048,  British 
Museum),  it  is  stated  in  the  Fifth  Article  that  '  the  Tenants  of  the  manor 
of  Wark  challenge  to  holde  their  Tenements  by  title  of  Tenante  right, 
payinge  their  rents  and  doing  their  services  upon  the  Border,  which 
services  were  to  bee  at  the  command  of  the  Keeper  to  serve  in  fields  on 
horse  or  foote  :  for  the  defence  of  the  Border  land  in  which  many  of  the 
inhabitants  have  lost  their  lives ' ;  and  also  in  the  Ninth  Article  it  is  stated 
that  '  the  freeholders  are  at  the  commaunde  of  the  Keeper  (of  Tynedale)  to 
serve  in  field  on  horse  or  foote  for  the  defence  of  the  Border  Lands  in  as 
strick  a  manner  as  anie  of  the  customarye  Tenants.' 


Warden  unlesse  yt  were  for  resistannce  of  an  urgent 
daingerous  invasion,  but  the  horsemen  of  that 
Lordshippe  should  assemble  at  the  commaundement 
of  ye  Warden  and  ryde  with  him  as  the  residue  of 
the  Countrie  do  the.' 

As  for  the  Bishopric  of  Durham,1  he  reports  that 
*  the  nombre  that  have  usuallie  bene  sent  furth  of 
the  Countrie  of  Durham  for  the  resistannce  of  an 
invasion  of  the  enymyes  within  the  east  and  middle 
marches  have  bene  1,000  men  or  thereaboutes,  or 
towards  an  explotic  or  joineye  to  be  donne  in 
Scotland  500  men  or  thereaboutes.  And  for  the 
assemblie  of  that  releiffe  the  Warden  have  used  to 
write  to  the  Bishoppe  of  Durhame  (if  he  were 
dwellinge  within  the  Countrie)  and  in  his  absence 
to  the  Sheriffe  and  other  like  officers  of  the  same 

The  West  March,  again,  running  from  Kershope 
foot  to  Carlisle  and  the  sea  westward,  and  south- 
ward extending  as  far  as  Shap  and  Crosby  Bavens- 
worth  in  Westmoreland,  would  be  mustered  by  the 
Warden  of  the  Western  March.  The  musters  for 
Cumberland,  as  given  in  the  Calendar  of  Border 
Papers  in  the  reign  of  Queen  Elizabeth,  cover  the 
wards  of  Eskdale,  the  Leith  ward,  Cumberland  ward 
with  the  barony  of  Dalston,  and  '  Allerdale  ward 
1  See  Appendix  in. 


beneath  the  water  of  Darwen'  (the  Derwent).  The 
muster  of  Allerdale  ward  above  Derwent — that  is, 
the  portion  of  land  lying  between  the  rivers  Derwent 
and  Duddon  and  extending  by  the  coast  line  from 
Workington  to  Broughton-in-Furness — is  not  given 
with  the  others  in  the  Border  Papers,  but  it  is 
grouped  with  the  others  in  the  return  given  by  Mr. 
Bell,  the  west  Warden  clerk. 

In  Westmoreland  the  west  and  middle  wards  are 
included  in  the  musters — that  is,  roughly  the  country 
from  Ullswater  to  the  Eden  by  Appleby,  the  east 
ward  and  Kendal  ward  being  apparently  exempt. 
We  give  here  the  Lord  Wharton's  Proclamation  as 
Warden  of  the  West  March  in  1547. 


'FORASMUCH  as  the  Governor  of  Scotland,  their 
Queen,  and  other  noblemen  of  that  realm, 
repared  to  Pebles  upon  Sunday  at  night  last, 
and  also  their  ordnance  coming  from  Edinburgh, 
of  intent  with  a  great  army  of  the  whole  body 
of  the  said  realm  of  Scotland  to  do  some  enter- 
prize  against  the  King's  Majesty's  possessions 
and  subjects  upon  their  West  Marches :  THERE- 
FORE, Thos.  Wharton  Knight,  Lord  Wharton, 
Lord  Warden  of  the  West  Marches  of  England 
for  anempst  Scotland,  captain  of  the  King's 


Majesty's  City  of  Carlisle,  and  one  of  his 
Highness's  most  honourable  council,  strictly 
chargeth  and  commandeth  in  his  Majesty's 
name,  that  all  his  Highness's  subjects,  horsemen 
and  footmen,  within  the  bounds  of  the  said 
West  Marche,  prepare  their  arrediness  and 
come  forward  with  10  days  victualls,  as  hath 
been  appointed,  so  as  they  may  be  at  Carlisle 
upon  Monday  next  at  noon,  not  failing  hereof 
upon  pain  of  death.  Written  at  Carlisle  this 
Tuesday  the  14th  day  of  June  1547. 


And  also : — 


In  1584  the  musters  of  the  English  Borders  are 
given  in  the  Border  Papers  as  follows  : — 


Westmorland — 

Archers  furnished,1  1400  ;  billmen  furnished,  1300  ; 
able  men  unfurnished,  1342.     Total,  4042. 

Cumberland — 

Archers  furnished,  1100;  billmen  furnished,  1200; 
able  men  unfurnished,  1340.     Total,  3640. 

Middle  Marches — 

Able  men  certified  without  mention  of  furniture, 


1  See  Appendix  iv. 


East  Marches — 

Furnished  with  jack  and  spear,  827. 
Furnished  with  spear  or  lance  only,  1347.     Total, 


Burgh  Barony,  Gillesland,  Queene  Haymes,  Eske, 
Leven,  Bewcastle,  Holme  Coltrim,  Sark  and  the 
Debatable  ground  and  Forest  of  Inglewood  provide 
468.  And  out  of  the  Counties  of  Westmorland  and 
Cumberland,  200. 


Horsemen  furnished,  267. 
,,         unfurnished,  546. 


Horsemen  furnished,  819. 
„         unfurnished,  1507. 

As  to  the  guardianship  of  the  marches  on  either 
side  it  may  briefly  be  summed  up  as  follows  : — 

On  the  English  Border  there  would  be  the  garrison 
at  Berwick-on-Tweed  under  the  control  of  the  Lord 
Warden,  with  a  captain  at  Norham  Castle  and  Wark 
as  aides;  to  him  the  inhabitants  on  the  southern 
side  would  owe  Border  service  as  far  as  the  Hanging 
Stone  on  Cheviot.  The  Middle  March  had  its 
separate  Warden,  who  would  reside  possibly  at 
Alnwick,  as  Sir  John  Forster,  or  at  Harbottle  Castle, 
as  Sir  Robert  Carey,  and  who  was  responsible  for 


that  great  extent  of  country  which  took  in  the 
remaining  portion  of  Northumberland. 

His  Deputy  would  probably  reside  at  his  own 
house,  as  did  Sir  Cuthbert  Collingwood  at  Eslington, 
who  was  for  ever  at  enmity  with  his  chief,  Sir  John 
Forster,  who  held  the  middle  Wardenship  so  long  in 
the  reign  of  Queen  Elizabeth. 

Acting  also  under  the  Warden  of  the  Middle  March 
would  be  the  Keeper  of  Tynedale,  often  a  Heron  of 
Chipchase  Castle  (as  was  the  Sir  John  who  was  slain 
at  the  Reids  wire  in  1575,  on  occasion  of  the  famous 
Warden's  meeting  there),  and  the  Keeper  of  Redes- 
dale,  a  Hall  sometimes  or  a  Reed,  as  the  '  Percy 
Reed/  for  instance,  of  the  well-known  ballad  who  was 
murdered  for  the  due  discharge  of  his  duty  by  the 
Croziers  and  the  Halls,  who  held  him  at '  deadly  feud.' 

At  Carlisle  the  Lord  Warden  of  the  Western  March 
usually  resided  in  the  castle,  though  Lord  Scrope  in 
1577  was  in  residence  at  Rose  Castle,  while  the  great 
'  Lord  Dacre  of  the  North,'  in  the  time  of  Henry  vin. , 
dwelt  at  his  castle  of  Naworth.  Acting  with 
him  along  the  Western  March  would  be  his  Deputy, 
sometimes  a  Lowther,  whose  duty  it  would  be  to 
keep  the  fortress  of  Rockliffe  and  protect  the  embou- 
chures of  Esk  and  Eden,  together  with  his  Constable, 
and  the  Stewards  and  Bailiffs  of  various  Baronies,  the 
Captain  of  Bewcastle,  who  was  appointed  by  the 


Crown,  and  resided  with  a  garrison  at  Bewcastle 
Castle,  whose  duty  especially  it  was  to  stay  the  men 
of  Liddesdale  from  raiding  into  England  across  '  the 

On  the  Scottish  side  again  the  east  Warden  was 
usually  a  Hume,  residing  generally  in  Hume  Castle ; 
the  middle  Warden  was  generally  a  Ker,  whether  of 
Cessford  or  Ferniehirst,  who  frequently  also  held  the 
Provostship  of  Jedburgh ;  while  the  western  Warden 
was  as  a  rule  a  Johnstone  or  a  Maxwell,  residing  at 
Loch  wood  Tower,  or  Lochmaben,  or  Caerlaverock 
Castle  respectively.  He  would  seem  also  to  have 
had  control  over  Nithsdale,  and  Galloway,  and  the 
west  part  of  Teviotdale,  and  on  occasion  he  appears 
to  have  held  therewith  the  Provostship  of  Dumfries. 


As  Mr.  R.  B.  Armstrong  points  out  in  his  inter- 
esting History1  of  Liddesdale,  '  the  district  was  gener- 
ally included  in  the  Middle  March/  but  (owing 
probably  to  its  always  having  been  a  distinct  lord- 
ship and  also  on  account  of  the  extreme  lawless- 
ness of  its  inhabitants),  it  was  during  the  greater 
part  of  the  sixteenth  century  a  separate  charge, 
under  the  rule  of  a  Keeper  specially  appointed  by  the 

1  History  of  Liddesdale.     (Douglas.     Edinburgh,  1883.) 


In  the  first  instance,  Liddesdale  was  ruled  by  the 
Douglases  as  hereditary  Wardens  of  the  West  March ; 
later,  when  the  Keepership  was  instituted,  a  Deputy 
was  appointed,  who  seems  ex  officio  to  have  been 
Captain  of  Hermitage  Castle. 

When  the  Keepership  of  Liddesdale  had  become  a 
separate  charge,  the  Lords  of  Liddesdale  were  often 
Keepers,  as  e.g.  the  Bothwells.  Thus  Patrick,  Earl 
of  Bothwell,  was  Keeper  in  1528  ;  James,  Earl  of 
Bothwell,  also  was  Keeper,  and  resided  in  Hermitage, 
where,  when  he  lay  wounded,  Queen  Mary  rode  over 
from  Jedburgh  to  see  him.  His  nephew  and  suc- 
cessor, Francis,  likewise  served  in  this  office.  Finally 
Buccleugh,  first  Lord  Scott,  was  appointed  Keeper 
by  James  vi.  and  allowed  rank  as  Warden. 

It  was  always  very  difficult  to  get  justice  done  for 
Liddesdale,  since  the  fierce  Elliots  and  Armstrongs 
dwelling  within  their  '  swyres '  were  as  a  byke  of 
hornets,  and  apparently  from  the  following  letter  of 
Scrope's  clerk  under  eight  successive  Keeperships  no 
meeting  had  been  held  with  the  English  Warden  of 
the  West  March.  '  All  theise  underwritten  as  is 
credible  enformed,  have  ben  Keepers  of  Lyddesdaile 
successyvelie,  of  whom  their  is  nether  recorde  nor 
memorie  so  far  as  I  can  learne,  for  any  meetinge  for 
redres  with  any  the  Wardens  of  the  West  March  as 
Gamelpeth  for  Lyddesdaill.  The  Lorde  Burthick, 


the  Erie  Bothwell,  the  Larde  of  Cawdor,  the  Larde 
Trachguars,  the  Tutor  of  Petcurr,  Mr.  Mychell  Bow- 
flower,  the  Lorde  Herries,  the  Larde  of  Carminghell.' 

Each  Warden  had  his  various  officers,  such  as  Land 
Serjeants  and  Water  Serjeants  (who  apprehended 
delinquents  and  carried  instructions),  clerks  to  keep 
the  Warden  Courts,  Setters  and  Searchers  of  the 
Watches  by  the  Fords,  and  lastly  his  company  or 
bodyguard  of  relatives,  and  those  '  young  bloods '  of 
the  Border  who  wished  for  the  excitement  and 
experience  of  fight  or  raid. 

Some  further  particulars  may  here  be  given  of  the 
various  other  Keeperships  on  the  Scots  and  English 
Borders  which  were  subordinate  to  the  Wardenries, 
as,  for  example,  in  the  English  Middle  March  Tyne- 
dale  and  Redesdale,  and  in  the  Scots  Western  March 
Annandale,  the  Keepership  of  which  was  in  the  hands 
of  the  Captain  of  Langholm,1  '  who  lyeth  with  a 
charge  att  the  Castle  of  Langam.' 

In  Annandale,  indeed,  as  one  gathers  from  the 
orders  given  in  Appendix,  No.  11,  of  the  Leges 
Marchiarum,  there  were  various  '  Warden  deputies/ 
for  the  House  of  Annand  was  to  be  '  keeped  with  ane 

1  '  This  captaine  lyeth  with  a  charge  att  the  Castle  of  Langam,  yf  there 
be  any  breache  or  great  rydinge  in  Scotland  by  English  Borderers.  And 
he  is  called  the  Keeper  of  Annandale  :  his  service  opposite  against 
Beucastle,  Eske  and  Leven  or  Bourgh  at  some  tymes.'  ('  Musgrave's  Report 
to  Burghley,'  Calendar  of  Border  Papers.) 


honest  man  and  wise,  and  he  to  be  Warden  Deputy, 
and  to  hold  with  him  xvi  well-horsed  men,  and 
the  men  to  be  called  the  Household :  for  their  susten- 
tation  every  one  of  them  to  have  100  m,  4  nithsdale 
bolls  of  horse-come.' 

Further,  it  is  ordered  in  regard  to  the  keeping  of 
the  House  of  Lochmaben  that  it  '  be  keeped  by  ane 
wise  and  famous  gentleman,  and  he  to  have  with  him 
five  well-horsed  men,  and  to  be  Stewart  Deputy/  and 
also  that  '  the  Lairds  of  Howmaines  and  Newbie  be 
over  the  Helpers,  Assisters,  and  maintainers  of  them.' 

Further,  the  House  of  Howdam  (Hoddam  in 
Annandale)  was  '  to  be  keeped  with  ane  wise  Stout 
man,  and  to  have  with  him  four  well-horsed  men,  and 
these  to  have  2  stark  footmen  servants  to  keep 
their  horses,  and  the  principal  to  have  ane  stout 
footman.  .  .  .' 

The  continual  unrest  and  the  constant  thievery  in 
Annandale  can  be  easily  gauged  by  the  appointment 
of  these  various  officers,  Stewart-deputes,  Warden- 
deputes,  Constables,  Chamberlains  and  Captains. 

On  the  English  Border  also  we  read  of  various 
subordinate  officers,  such  as  Constables,  Land  Ser- 
jeants and  Captains.  These  Land  Serjeants  were  the 
Warden's  officers,  whose  chief  duty  seems  to  have 
been  to  apprehend  thieves  and  fugitives  in  readiness 
for  a  Warden's  Court  or  '  Day  of  March,'  while  the 


'  Water  Keepers/  Water  Bailiffs  and  Water  Serjeants 
were  bound  to  keep  the  '  entrance  of  all  men  without 
lycence  out  of  either  marche/  and  had  'libertie  at 
all  tymes  to  enter  the  marches  without  licence,  and 
to  carry  messages  or  letters  betwixt  the  Wardens/ 

In  the  case  of  the  Land  Serjeant  of  Gilsland,  how- 
ever, of  whom  frequent  mention  is  made,  more 
important  duties  were  attached  to  this  particular 

Originally  he  seems  to  have  been  Chief  Steward  or 
Bailiff  to  the  Lord  of  Gilsland,  but  when  Queen 
Elizabeth  took  away  from  Lord  William  Howard  and 
his  wife  (Lady  Elizabeth  Dacre 1 — '  Bessie  wi'  the  braid 
apron')  the  baronies  of  Burgh,  Graystock  and  Gilsland, 
it  was  urged  that  Gilsland  should  be  put  upon  the 
same  footing  as  Bewcastle  captaincy,  which  was  a 
Crown  appointment. 

The  following  account  of  the  Land  Serjeants  of 
Gilsland  is  taken  from  Thomas  Carleton's  report 
thereon  in  1577  to  Lord  Burghley.  (Calendar  of 
Border  Papers.) 

'  The  Land  Serjeaunt,  then  but  a  particular  servaunt 
to  the  Lord  Dacre,  having  in  his  absence  the 

1  '  Ultimately  in  1601,  the  Queen  permitted  the  sisters  (the  Ladies 
Dacre,  co-heiresses  of  the  last  Lord  Dacre,  who  had  been  married  to  the 
Earl  of  Arundel  and  Lord  William  Howard,  respectively),  to  buy  back 
their  lands  by  a  payment  of  some  £10,000  each,  and  the  long  lawsuit  was 
ended  to  the  profit  of  the  royal  coffers.' 


commaund  and  government  of  that  whole  barony  of 
Gilsland,  having  for  his  maintennance  the  better  to 
discharge  that  government,  his  chamber,  stable,  horse- 
meat,  allowannce  for  his  men,  all  the  Lord's  household 
servaunts,  allwayes  at  the  fewest  24  or  30,  able  and 
well-horsed  men,  at  his  call  and  commaundement. 
The  land  serjeaunt  his  dew  fee  for  that  office  only  five 
pounds,  and  his  lord  and  masters  countenannce,  which 
was  more  than  all  the  rest.'  Apparently  he  (Thomas 
Carleton,  Land  Serjeant)  lived  at  Askerton, '  a  house  of 
good  strength  and  defence,  and  the  only  house  in 
Gilsland  fit  for  the  land  Serjeant  to  dwell  in.'1 

As  for  the  Captaincy  of  Bewcastle,  we  quote  the 
following  from  the  auditor's  report  to  Cecil  in  Queen 
Elizabeth's  reign.  '  Her  Majesty  in  her  32nd  year, 
granted  to  Sir  Simon  Musgrave  Knight,  and  Thomas 
Musgrave  his  son  for  the  term  of  their  2  lives, 
Plumpton  Park,  with  all  rents,  etc.,  being  £168,  7s.  Od. 
per  annum  absque  compoto  seu  aliquo  inde  reddendo. 
And,  as  I  take  it,  they  have  moreover  as  incident  and 
belonging  to  the  said  office  of  Captain  of  Bewcastle, 
all  the  rentes,  demeane  landes  and  tithes  of  Bewcastle, 
which  I  have  hard  to  be  better  worth  than  £100  a 

Thus  the  auditor  to  Cecil. 

1  Border  Papers,  vol.  ii.  p.  575. 

Reproduced  from  Arc/uzologia,  Vol.  XX II., 


ind permission  of  the  Society  oj  Antiquaries. 




'Dictua  ager  nunc  variabilis,   nunc  litigiosus,  nunc  terra  contentiosa 
vocari  solitus,  coinmuni  vero  utriusque  gentis  vocabulo  nuncupatur.' 

KYMER,  Foedera. 

The  very  extent  of  the  '  Debatable  Land '  seems 
to  be  'debatable,'  for  various  are  the  dimensions 
assigned  to  it ;  the  measurement  most  commonly 
given  is  that  of  eight  miles  long  by  four  broad,  and 
the  content  of  it — the  land  that  lay  between  the 
rivers  of  Sark l  and  Esk — stretching  from  the  Sol  way 
up  to  Kirkandrews,  close  to  Canonby. 

Yet  Lord  Dacre  in  1550,  two  years  before  the 
division,  reports  as  Warden  of  the  English  Western 
March  that  he  thought  it  advisable  'for  the  better 
maintenance  of  the  king's  title  and  interest  of  the 
Debateable  Land  to  go  over  the  same  water  [of  Sark] 
into  the  same  Rateable,  before  we  either  demanded,  or 
granted  any  assurance/  Now  as  the  meeting  was 
appointed  at  Lochmabenstone,  which  is  beside  Solway 
in  Dumfriesshire,  near  to  Gretna  Green,  it  is  clear 
that  Lord  Dacre  did  not  limit  its  extent  to  the  lines 
of  the  Esk  and  Sark  rivers. 

The    ancient    extent    of   the    Debatable    Ground 

1  Viz.  the  White   Sark ;   a  small  confluent  that  flows  into  Sark  by 
Solway  Moss  is  termed  the  Black  Sark. 


before  the  division  is  thus  given  by  Burn  and 
Nicholson,  vol.  i.  p.  16,  from  boundaries  as  set  forth 
in  an  old  roll.  '  Beginning  at  the  foot  of  the  White 
Scyrke  running  into  the  sea,  and  so  up  the  said  water 
of  Scyrke,  till  it  come  to  a  place  called  the  Pyngil- 
burne  foot  running  into  the  said  water  of  Scyrke,  and 
up  the  Pyngilburne  till  it  come  to  Pyngilburne  know, 
from  thence  to  the  Righeads,  from  the  Righeads  to 
the  Monke  Rilande  Burne,  and  from  thence  down 
Hawenburne  till  it  fall  in  Eske,  and  through  Eske  to 
the  foot  of  Terras,  and  so  up  Terras  to  the  foot  of 
Reygill,  and  up  the  R-eygill  to  the  Tophous,  and  so 
to  the  standing  stone,  and  to  the  Mearburne  head 
and  down  Mearburne  to  it  fall  in  Lyddal  at  the 
Rutterford,  and  down  Lyddal  to  it  fall  in  Eske,  and 
down  Eske  to  it  fall  in  the  sea.' 

They  add,  '  it  was  in  length  8  computed  miles 
of  the  country  and  in  breadth  4  miles/  but  from 
where  the  Sark  flows  into  Solway  to  Raegill  [Reygill] 
is  nearly  ten  miles,  and  the  breadth  from  Raegill  to 
the  Rutterford  on  Liddel  is  not  far  from  five  miles, 
and  this  would  seem  to  be  the  more  correct  com- 
putation, for  after  the  division  between  England  and 
Scotland  the  English  portion — measuring  by  Blaeu's 
map  from  west  to  east — from  Sark  to  Esk — is  some 
three  and  three-quarter  miles,  and  in  length — by  the 
Esk  to  the  Solway — is  some  four  and  a  quarter  miles. 


In  the  survey  of  'the  Debat cable1  and  Border  Lands 
adjoining  the  Realm  of  Scotland/  taken  for  James  i. 
in  1604,  there  is  'an  Abreviate  of  the  Survey  of  the 
King's  mat8  lands,  called  the  Debateable  lands,  in- 
habited by  the  Grahams,  belonginge  to  and  lyinge 
within  ye  Realme  of  Englande ;  the  wch  are  bounded 
by  ye  river  of  Sark  on  the  west,  the  Scotishe  dike  on 
the  North  (bothe  wch  are  marches  and  bounders 
betwixt  ye  2  realms  of  Englande  and  Scotland),  the 
ryver  of  Eske  upon  the  East,  and  an  arme  of  the 
sea  upon  ye  South,  wch  is  called  Selwaie  Sands. 
The  wch  ground  extendeth  in  circuit  21  miles,  in 
length  5,  and  in  breadth  neere  3  miles,  and 
conteyneth  7 '4  03  acres  accordinge  to  Statute 

Again,  there  is  printed  in  Armstrong's  History  of 
Liddesdale  a  very  interesting  document — in  which,  by 
the  way,  the  extent  is  set  down  as  ten  miles  by  four, 
entitled,  '  A  Rememberance  of  an  order  for  the  De- 
batable Lannde,  if  the  sayme  shalbe  thoght  goode,  to 
the  Prynce  of  bothe  the  reallmys  of  Inglande  and 
Scotlannde  by  the  Wardans  of  the  weste  Marches  of 
Inglannde  annde  Scotlannde,  withe  the  full  advyse 
and  opeanyon  of  dyvers  gentlemen  Borderers  off 
bothe  the  sayde  west  marches,  as  the  articullys  off 
the  same  insewethe' — in  1537. 

1  Additional  MS.,  British  Museum.    See  note  p.  43  above 


From  this  we  learn  that  previously  to  the  division 
the  custom  had  been  for  both  Scots  and  English  to 
pasture  their  several  cattle  thereon  'for  bytt  off 
mouthe  betwene  son  and  son/  viz.  from  sunrise  to 
set,  and  '  withe  owtt  a  stobe  or  stake,1 '  that  is,  with- 
out setting  up  any  residence  therein. 

But  Scots  and  English  alike  had  come  '  to  hold  stob 
and  staik '  therein,  and  when  they  who  were  inclined 
to  England  were  molested  by  the  Scots  Warden  the 
English  Warden  naturally  took  upon  himself  their 
protection.  Thus,  when  Lord  Maxwell  threatened 
to  raze  Sandie  Armstrong's  house  with  gunpowder, 
Lord  Dacre  heaped  peats  and  turfs  within  and 
about  it  and  set  them  on  fire  to  prevent  the  other's 

This  ancient  custom  in  regard  to  the  disputed  tract 
is  fully  set  out  by  the  English  Warden,  Lord  Dacre, 
in  his  letter  to  the  Scots  Privy  Council,  6th  July 
1517  :- 

'  My  Lords  there  is  a  grounde  called  the  Debatable 
grounde,  lyeing  betwene  the  realme  of  England  and 
Scotland,  wherein  there  is  no  strife  for  the  boundes 
of  the  same ;  but  it  is  wele  knowne  by  the  subjects 
of  bothe  the  realmes,  and  allweyes  has  been  used  and 
accustumed  to  pasture  upon  the  same  grounde  with 

1  See  Jamieson,  Scottish  Dictionary,  'Stob  and  staik — to  hold  stob  and 
staik  in  any  place,  to  have  one's  permanent  residence  there.' 


bit  of  mouthe,  from  the  sonne  rising  to  the  sonne 
setting,  withal]  manner  of  cattell,  for  the  subjects  of 
bothe  the  realmes. 

'  And  if  any  subject  of  ayther  realme  wilfully  will 
stub  or  stake,  or  kepe  any  cattell  under  cover  of 
night,  it  is  and  always  has  bene  at  the  likkes  of  the 
Wardenis,  lieutenants  and  subjects  of  ayther  realme, 
fyndering  them  greved,  to  brenne,  destroye,  waiste, 
take  and  drive  awey  all  suche  goods  and  cattell  as 
there  shalbe  founde  so  wilfully  kept  under  cover  of 

'And  if  it  fortune  any  of  the  subjects  of  ayther 
realme  soo  wilfully  keping  there  goodes  and  catells 
under  cover  of  night  upon  the  same  Debatable 
grounde,  shall  not  forfaite  there  goods  taken  upon 
the  daylight,  as  afore  said,  but  it  is  leyful  to  brenne 
the  houses  and  to  take  the  goods  and  catelles  and 
persons  prisoners  being  within  the  house  upon  the 
daye  light. 

'  And  if  the  men  and  goodes  got  owt  of  the  houses 
upon  the  said  Debatable  grounde,  they  are  fre,  and 
no  forfaite  made,  but  the  howses  to  be  brent,  and  the 
goods  within  them  to  be  forfaiete. 

'  And  if  it  fortune  any  subjects  of  ayther  realme  to 
carie  awey  any  of  the  said  houses,  or  any  wodde,  gres, 
or  corne  growing  upon  the  said  Debatable  grounde, 
lyeing  upon  wanes,  carts,  or  horse  bakks,  takin  with 
the  cariage  upon  them,  within  the  Debatable  grounde, 
is  forfaiete  to  that  subject  that  so  arrests  them.  But 
if  so  be  that  the  cariage  be  out  of  the  wane,  carte  or 


horsebakks  or  the  seisure  be  made,  then  there  is  no 
forfaicte  done.' 

Now  as  the  English  Warden  insisted  upon  claiming 
the  land  in  question  as  English,  and  the  Scots 
Warden  stoutly  resisted  the  claim,  a  deadlock  ensued. 
'  For  neither  will  I,'  wrote  Lord  Dacre  in  1550  to  the 
Privy  Council,  'suffer  the  Warden  of  Scotland  to 
answer  for  it,  because  I  will  not  allow  it  to  be 
Scotland,  nor  will  they  on  the  contrary  consent 
that  it  shall  be  England.'  Finally,  when  several 
'  Batablers,'  such  as  Sandie  Armstrong,  and  several  of 
the  brethren  and  sons  of  Richard  Greyme,  and  divers 
others,  had  threatened  to  turn  Scots  unless  England 
would  definitely  '  aid  them  as  occasion  required ' — '  a 
loss  to  England  and  a  continual  source  of  disorder  on 
the  marches ' — a  division  of  the  '  variable  ground  ' 
was  finally  agreed  to. 

The  following  is  the  reference  to  this  disputed 
ground  in  the  Leges  Marchiarum,  three  years  before 
the  division. 

By  the  indenture  of  1549  in  the  reign  of 
Edward  vi.  'it  was  covenanted,  concorded  and  con- 
cluded, that  the  land  variable,  common  of  both  the 
People,  called  the  Debateable  ground,  which  lieth 
between  the  west  marches  of  England  and  Scotland, 
shall  be  put  and  set  in  the  same  estate,  and  shall 


remain  (inasmuch  as  belongeth  to  the  use  thereof), 
even  as  it  hath  been  accustomed  to  be,  and  was 
before  the  beginning  of  the  wars. 

'  So  as  the  Lieges  and  Subjects  of  both  the  Realms, 
now  inhabiting  or  having  houses  upon  the  said 
Debateable  ground,  may  have  power  and  liberty 
(until  the  Feast  of  St.  Michael  the  Archangel  next 
coming,  after  the  date  hereof)  to  dwell  there,  without 
Prejudice  of  this  Article,  and  to  use  and  enjoy  the 
same,  during  such  space  of  time  they  may  to  their 
best  Commodity  remove  themselves,  their  wives 
and  Children,  goods  and  Cattel,  and  other  their 
things  (every  of  them)  into  his  own  country ;  unless 
it  be  otherwise  in  the  mean  time,  of  the  said  Variable 
Ground,  by  good  ways  and  means  agreed  and  con- 
cluded between  the  Priners  aforesaid.  And,  after 
the  said  Feast,  if  any  of  either  country  of  the  said 
,  Inhabitants  do  in  anything  contrary  to  this  Article, 
then  (by  the  Warden  or  his  Deputy,  without  respect), 
they  shall  be  thrown  out  and  duly  punished  therefore, 
according  to  the  Laws  of  Marche. 

'Provided,  that  whosoever  refuseth  to  obey  the 
Commandments  of  the  Wardens  of  both  Marches 
aforesaid,  and  the  Covenants  taken  by  common 
consent  for  the  good  rule  thereof,  that  they  occupy 
not  the  Privileges  of  the  small  delay  aforesaid.'1 

1  Leges  Marchiarum. 


Finally,  then,  it  was  agreed  upon  between  the  two 
realms  that  there  should  be  a  division  of  the  variable 
ground  between  England  and  Scotland  by  the 
Lord  Wharton  and  Sir  Thomas  Challoner  on  the  part 
of  the  King  of  England,  and  Sir  James  Douglas  of 
Drumlangrig  and  Richard  Maitland  of  Lethington 
on  the  part  of  the  Queen  of  Scotland. 

These  Commissioners,  assisted  by  an  envoy  from 
France,  'made  their  award  Sept.  24th,  1552,  setting 
forth,  that  whereas  the  inhabitants  of  the  western 
part  inclined  more  to  be  subjects  of  England,  and 
the  inhabitants  of  the  eastern  part  inclined  more  to 
be  subjects  of  Scotland,  they  therefore  award  the 
western  part  of  the  said  debateable  land  to  the  King 
of  England,  and  the  eastern  part  thereof  to  the  Queen 
of  Scotland ;  to  be  divided  by  a  line  drawn  across 
from  Esk  to  Sark  and  a  square  stone  set  up  at  each 
end  with  the  arms  of  England  on  the  west  thereof, 
and  the  arms  of  Scotland  on  the  east  side.'  1 

And  thus  the  '  terra  contentiosa '  of  old  time— 
'  the  sewer  of  abandoned  men — who,  freed  from  the 
fear  of  punishment  or  laws,  lived  by  theft  and  spoil ' — 
was  divided  for  all  time  between  England  and  Scotland 
— England  obtaining  the  western  portion  or  parish 
of  Kirkandrews  and  Scotland  the  eastern  or  parish  of 

1  History  of  Cumberland  and  Westmorland,  vol.  i.  p.  IxxxL 

2  In  sundry  '  articles  concerning  the  Monastery  of  Canonby  holm  in  the 


The  following  quotation  from  Rymer's  Foedera 
will  show  with  what  care  the  delimitation  was 
carried  out. 

'  Ac  ut  melius  et  certius  pars  haec  occidentalis  ab 
altera  discernatur,  conventum  et  conclusum  est  inter 
nos  commissaries  et  deputatos  praefatos,  ut  in  ipso 
utrius  partis  discrimine,  trames  linearis  rectus  trans- 
versim  ab  Esk  ad  Sark  fluvium  ducatur,  fossa  vel 
sulco  vestigium  ipsius  denotante;  ac  praeterea, 
singulae  pyramides  lapide  quadrato  singulis  ipsorum 
Esk  et  Sark  fluviorum  ripis  interius  imponantur,  in 
ipsis  potissimum  (quoad  ejus  fieri  potest)  locorum 
punctis  construendae  ac  collocandae  ubi  linea  seu 
trames  ille  transversus  hac  iliac  extendetur.  Quos 
quidem  locos,  quo  planius  dinoscantur,  et  si  quo 
vetustatis  aut  doli  mali  vitio  pyramides  corruerint, 
nihilo  secus  locorum  vestigia  ad  ipsarum  reparationem 
innotescant,  in  hunc  modum  hinc  describendos  puta- 
vimus:  Locus  igitur  pyramidi  Esk  Jluvii  ripae  im- 
ponendae  is  esto,  ubi  Jluvii  ipsius  cursus  sinuose 
incurvatus  est,  ad  campi  ejusdem  (vulgari  sermone 
vocati  Dimmis.  Daill)  latus  occidentale  qua  torrens 
seu  rivulus  quidam  vicinus  (vernacule  nuncupatus 
Dimmis-daill  syke)  in  fluvium  jam  dictum  praecipitat. 

North  cuntre  to  prove  yt  to  be  Englishe  and  not  Scottishe,'  in  1531  the 
prior  is  said  to  pay  '  to  the  handes  of  the  Captain  of  the  Castell  of  Carlill ' 
xiiis.  ivd.  This,  the  English  insisted,  was  rent,  but  the  Scots  replied  that 
it  was  '  for  custome  of  the  inhabitants  within  Cannonby.'  See  Armstrong, 
Liddcsdalc,  p.  xxxii. 


'  Similiter,  pyramidi  SarJc  fluvii  quae  imponetur 
ripae  is  esto  locus,  qui  clivo  rubro  situs  est,  e  regione 
loci  vocati  Kirkrigg  in  Scotia  paulum  supra  le 
Eatgyw.  ubi  vicissim  Sark  fluvii  alveolus  in  sinus 

Upon  these  pyramids  the  arms  or  badges  of  the 
said  sovereigns  were  to  be  sculptured ;  '  ita  scilicet, 
ut  quod  latus  utriusque  pyramidis  quod  occidentem 
spectat,  dicti  serenissimi  Angliae  regis  insigniatur 
armis,  quodque  orientem  respicit  praefatae  illustris- 
simae  reginae  Scotiae  armis  condecoretur :  atque  in 
hunc  modum  honori  principum  bene  de  patria 
meritorum,  turn  etiam  commodo  rudioris  populi,  quo 
melius  ex  istis  signis  divisionis  hujus  discrimina 
percipiant,  consultum  esto.' 

It  might  be  mentioned  in  this  connection  that 
there  were  along  the  Border  certain  small  'threap 
lands/  '  debateable,'  or  disputed  tracts,  which  seem 
to  have  remained  doubtful  even  up  to  the  time  of  the 
Ordnance  Survey.  Thus  from  Phillips's  memorandum 
quoted  above,  we  learn  that  there  were  in  the  East 
March  'three  parcels'  of  ground  in  dispute,  as,  for 
example,  '  the  mid  rigg  [of  100  acres]  lying  nere 
to  the  cornefeldes  of  Warke  and  Carram — quietlie 
occupied  and  plowed  by  the  tenantes  of  Carram  till 
Flodden  Feld,  at  what  time  the  decay  of  the  Castle 
of  Warke  caused  the  decaye  of  the  towns  of  Carram 


and  Warke,  so  as  it  lay  unplowed  but  occupied  as 
pasture  by  the  tenantes  of  the  said  townes  till  anno 
30  of  Henry  vm.  that  they  did  sow  it  with  otes, 
which  the  Wardens  of  the  East  and  Middle  marches 
of  Scotland  by  theyr  Kinges  commandment,  as  the 
Scots  affirme,  with  a  great  power  destroyed,  challeng- 
ing the  same  ground  to  be  in  plea  between  the  realmes 
and  therefore  to  be  pastured  uppon  by  both,  as  it 
hath  continued  ever  since.' 

And  again,  there  seems  also  to  have  been  a  de- 
batable '  Fish  garth '  on  the  Esk,  which  is  specially 
mentioned  in  sundry  treaties  of  Henry  vii.  and 
vm. ,  and  set  on  one  side  or  exempted  as  a  source 
of  quarrel  between  England  and  Scotland. 

'  Si  rumpat  vel  distruat  eundem,  pro  non  attemptato 
reputabitur,  et  nihilominus  alia  attemptata  quae- 
cumque  reparabuntur  sic  quod  Eeparatio  aut  Des- 
tructio  dictae  le  Fisshe  garthe  non  impediet  Re- 
formationem  aliorum  attemptatorum  nee  introducet 
Ruptionem  praesentis  Pacis  seu  con  federations. ' 
(Rymer,  Foedera.) 






'Now,  in  the  legends  of  Mabel,  the  Scottish  nation  was  ever  freshly 
remembered,  with  all  the  embittered  declamation  of  which  the  narrator 
was  capable. 

'  The  inhabitants  of  the  opposite  frontier  served  in  her  narratives  to  fill 
up  the  parts  which  ogres  and  giants  with  seven-leagued  boots  occupy  in 
the  ordinary  nursery  tales. 

'  And  how  could  it  be  otherwise  1 

'  Was  it  not  the  Black  Douglas  who  slew  with  his  own  hand  the  heir  of 
the  Osbaldistone  family  the  day  after  he  took  possession  of  his  estate,  sur- 
prising him  and  his  vassals  while  solemnising  a  feast  suited  to  the  occasion  ? 

'  Was  it  not  Wat  the  Devil  who  drove  off  all  the  year-old  hogs  off  the 
braes  of  Lanthorn  side,  in  the  very  recent  days  of  my  grandfather's  father  ? ' 


IN  Bishop  Nicholson's  Collection  of  Leges  Marchi- 
arum  the  first  statutes  given  are  those  said  to  be 
drawn  up  by  twelve  English  knights  and  twelve 
Scots  knights  in  the  reign  of  Henry  in.,  1249, 
presided  over  by  the  Sheriff  of  Northumberland 
and  the  Sheriffs  of  Berwick  and  Roxburgh  re- 

The  first  name  on  the  English  side  is  that  of 
Robertus  de  Clifford,  but  as  Robertus  de  Clifford 


was  not  born  till  1273,  Burn  and  Nicholson  conclude 
from  this  and  other  internal  evidence,  as,  for  example, 
the  absence  of  the  names  of  either  king,  that  it  is  a 
manifest  Scots  forgery,  the  occasion  of  which  might 
lie  in  the  destruction  of  all  the  Scottish  records  by 
Edward  i.,  and  the  consequent  desire  to  create  a 
document  to  prove  their  country's  independence  at 
a  time  when  it  was  denied  by  England.  It  should 
be  noted,  however,  that  the  editor  of  the  Acts  of  the 
Parliament  of  Scotland  writes  as  follows  in  his 
preface  (vol.  i.  p.  43,  red  ink  numerals)  concerning 
the  Act : — 

'  It  is  here  printed  without  alteration  from  the  Berne 
MS.,  a  nearly  contemporary  authority.  It  is  found 
in  many  of  the  law  manuscripts,  and  forms  the  first 
of  a  curious  collection  of  Border  Papers  in  the  State 
Paper  Office. 

'  The  copies  used  by  Bishop  Nicholson  must  have 
been  very  faulty.' 

The  Act  itself  is  headed  as  follows  : — 

'The  year  of  grace  1249  gadderit  togidder  at  the 
Merchis  the  Shereff  of  Northumberland  for  kingis' 
party  of  ingland  and  the  Sherefs  of  Berwick, 
Roxburgh  and  Edinburgh  on  the  kingis'  party  of 
Scotland  for  to  know  the  lawis  and  the  customs  of 
the  merchis  be  xii  knychtis  of  ingland  and  12 
knychtis  of  Scotland.' 


And  further,  Dr.  Neilson  writes  thus  to  the 
author : — 

'  For  my  part  I  take  the  confusion  of  witnesses 
with  a  light  heart.  The  imputation  of  forgery  is  at 
the  very  worst  only  an  extreme  form  of  saying  that 
the  witnesses  are  not  easily  possible  at  any  one  time, 
but  this  is  no  unusual  thing  :  a  conflate  text  is  often 
found  in  the  Middle  Ages  and  witnesses  get  run 
together  when  there  is  no  doubt  that  the  actual 
document  itself  is  genuine  and  beyond  challenge. 
So  for  my  part  I  take  the  confusion  of  witnesses  to 
the  Leges  with  a  light  heart.' 

We  now  give  a  translation  of  these  first  Border 
Statutes  as  printed  by  Bishop  Nicholson  in  his  Leges 

'  In  the  year  of  grace  one  thousand  two  hundred 
and  forty-nine  on  the  festival  of  Saints  Tiburtius  and 
Valerianus  there  came  to  the  marches  for  the  purpose 
of  founding  and  observing  the  Laws  of  the  Marches 
the  Sheriff  of  Northumberland  on  the  part  of  the 
Lord  the  King  of  England  and  on  the  part  of  the 
Lord  the  King  of  Scotland  the  Sheriffs  of  Berwick 
and  Roxborough  that  the  laws  and  customs  of  the 
marches  might  be  acknowledged  by  twelve  knights 
of  England  and  twelve  of  Scotland  under  firm 










Mayor  de  Berwick. 

Here  follow  the  statutes  of  the  said  four  and 
twenty  knights.  (To  make  up  the  number  of  twenty- 
four  knights  one  must  suppose  that  the  Sheriff  of 
Northumberland  and  the  Sheriff  of  Berwick  or 
Roxburgh  also  swore.) 

*  Firstly,  all  of  these  twenty-four  asserted  together, 
that  if  any  evil-doer  dwelling  in  Scotland,  whether 
man  or  woman,  whether  a  feudal  tenant  or  not,  shall 
have  been  guilty  of  homicide  or  any  other  offence 
whereby  debate  or  contest  may  arise,  he  shall  be 
tried  therefore  only  on  the  march  of  either  realm. 

'  If  the  defendant  dwell  beyond  Rede  he  shall  be 
tried  at  Ridingeburn.1  Redesdale  and  Coquetdale 
must  be  tried  at  Campaspeth  according  to  the  laws 
and  customs  in  use  between  the  two  realms. 

1  The  Reddanburn,  which  flows  into  Tweed  from  the  south  beyond 
Carham,  and  some  six  miles  west  of  Coldstream.  '  Gammel's  path '  (the 
old  path,  cp.  Danish  gammel),  as  marked  on  the  Ordnance  Survey,  is  the  track 
of  the  old  Roman  road  that  led  up  from  Bremenium  (High  Rochester)  Camp 
to  Ad  Fines  Camp  (Chew  green),  at  the  head  of  Coquet. 


'  Secondly,  they  asserted  that  all  men  between 
Totnais  (Totness)  in  England  and  Caithness  in  Scot- 
land can  rightly — according  to  the  customs  of  the  said 
realms — be  called  to  the  Marches  for  combat,  with  the 
exception  of  the  persons  of  the  Kings  of  the  said  realms 
and  of  the  Bishops  of  Saint  Andrew  and  Dunkeld.1 

'  Thirdly,  they  asserted  unanimously  that  if  any  one 
whether  vassal  or  bondsman  of  Scotland  shall  have 
fled  within  the  realm  of  England,  with  or  without 
his  cattle,  wishing  thus  to  escape  from  his  Lord,  he 
must  be  brought  back  to  Scotland — if  he  is  prosecuted 
within  forty  days  after  crossing  the  Marches  by  his 
lord  or  bailiff — without  any  hindrance  on  the  part 
of  England  on  oath  given,  and,  conversely,  the  like  to 
hold  good  of  an  English  fugitive. 

'  But  if  the  lord  prosecute  not  within  forty  days  he 
shall  never  recover  his  man  except  by  warrant  from 
the  King  in  whose  realm  he  has  sought  refuge. 

'And  if  after  forty  days  he  is  found  within  the 
realm  which  he  left  he  may  be  taken,  unless  he  is  a 
bondsman,2  by  his  lord  on  the  oath  of  six  men  in 
addition  to  his  lord's. 

'Fourthly,  they  asserted,   that  if  any  native3  of 

1  The  Acts  of  Parliament  of  Scotland,  vol.  i.  p.  414,  etc.,  give  '  Donel- 
mensis'  and  '  Duresme,'  sections  2  and  5. 

2  Nisi  fuerit  nativus.     The  Rev.  G.  Ridpath,  commenting  on  this  in  his 
Border  History,  suggests  that  in  the  case  of  a  bondsman  his  lord's  oath  was 
not  necessary. 

3  Natvovs,  translated  here  as  '  native.' 


England  or  Scotland  shall  be  accused  of  debt  he  shall 
provide  a  pledge  for  forty-five  days  by  means  of 
inbrocht  wood  and  utbrocht  wood1  (sureties  of  his  own, 
and  the  other,  realm),  and  they  shall  redeem  the 
debt  within  the  next  fifteen  days.  And  if  by  then 
the  debtor  shall  not  have  paid  this  off  his  pledge  may 
be  taken  and  held  until  full  satisfaction  shall  have 
been  given  for  his  debt. 

'  But  if  he  denies  the  debt  he  shall  clear  himself  at 
the  Marches  within  fifteen  days  by  the  oath  of  seven 
men,  his  own  included.  And  the  same,  if  the  debtor 
shall  make  default,  holds  good  in  regard  to  the 

'  If  he  acknowledges  his  debt  and  has  no  goods 
wherewith  to  pay  he  shall  purge  himself  by  his  oath 
on  the  ground  that  he  has  no  more  in  goods  than  five 
shillings  and  fourpence,  and  further  shall  swear  that 
he  will  pay  his  debt  as  soon  as  he  shall  save  or  obtain 
the  amount,  his  food  alone  being  immune. 

'  Fifthly,  they  asserted  that  all  accusers  on  either 
side  shall  swear  for  themselves,  except  only  the  two 
kings  and  their  heirs,  and  the  Bishops  of  Saint 
Andrews  and  Dunkeld. 

'  For  the  King  of  England,  his  standard-bearer  and 
his  constable  shall  swear.  In  the  same  way  for  the 
King  of  Scotland  and  the  Lord  Bishop  of  Saint 

1  Wood  =  wed  (vadium),  a  pledge. 


Andrews  the  presbyter  of  Weddle  —  shall  swear,1 
and  for  the  Lord  Bishop  of  Dunkeld  the  Prior  of 
the  Isle. 

'  Sixthly r,  they  asserted  that  no  one  can  act  by 
attorney  in  making  oath  at  the  Marches  in  a  quarrel 
wherein  life  and  limbs  are  involved  save  only  with  the 
consent  of  either  party.  The  two  kings  and  bishops 
only  being  excepted,  as  above  said.  Default  will 
invalidate  the  cause  forever  whether  for  prosecutor 
or  defendant. 

'  Seventhly,  they  asserted  that  if  a  quarrel  takes 
place  on  the  Marches  between  the  two  countries  and 
this  between  a  prosecutor  and  defendant  on  a  matter 
of  life  and  limb,  then,  supposing  that  the  defendant 
shall  have  died  within  fifteen  days,  within  the 
statutory  time,  his  body  shall  be  brought  to  the 
Marches  at  the  day  and  place  within  the  appointed 
parts,  since  no  man  can  be  essoigned  by  death.2 

1  Wedhall  or  Wedale.     He  was  the  bishop's  vicar  in  that  parish,  so  the 
Rev.  H.  A.  Wilson  of  Oxford  kindly  informs  me,  also  that  the  Insula  (isle) 
mentioned  was  probably  Inchcolm,  which  was  a  priory  till  1235  or  later, 
and  had  a  close  connection  with  the  early  Bishops  of  Dunkeld.     Ridpath  in 
his  History  suggests  Lochleven. 

2  Even  so  late  as  1597  we  hear  of  a  pledge's  body  being  brought — though 
a  corpse — to  the  march. 

In  Sir  William  Bowes's  '  Declaration  from  Barwicke,  Oct.  9,  1597,'  it  is 
stated  that  at  the  meeting  of  the  Commissioners  of  both  realms  for  delivery 
of  pledges  at  the  next  ford  near  Norham, '  Sir  William  pressed  their  receipt 
of  the  Englishe  pledges  all  there  presente,  though  one  of  the  number  were 
dead,  yet  was  he  brought  and  presented  to  the  place.'  See  Calendar  of 
Border  Papers,  vol.  ii. 


'And  if  the  prosecutor  delaying  shall  not  have 
appeared  at  the  same  appointed  time,  the  defendant 
must  make  his  way  to  the  Marches  and  must  take 
the  pledge  of  Wardsheill1  (trial  by  combat,  hand- 


So  the  passage  runs  in  Bishop  Nicholson's  Leges  Marchiarum,  but  in 
the  Acts  of  the  Parliament  of  Scotland  (see  vol.  i.  p.  414,  red  ink  numerals, 
Record  Edition),  these  words  are  given  :  '  Debet  accipe-handwarsil  de 
tribus  baronibus ' ;  and  opposite  them  this  translation  :  '  And  the  appellour 
cum  nocht  to  the  merchis  at  the  day  set  the  party  dependant  sail  gang 
to  the  merchis  and  tak  thair  3  borowis  [sureties]  that  is  to  wit  3  men 
witnessing  that  he  then  sufficientlie  at  day  set  apperit  and  that  provit  be 
thame  of  that  clarne  he  sail  gang  quite  for  evermair.' 

Thus  '  Wardshiell '  or   'handwarsil'  seems  to   mean  wager  of  battle 

'  (cp.  the  Border  word — warsil — warsell  still  in  use),  and  the  plain  meaning 

seems  to  be  that  the  defendant  having  attended  at  the  fighting  ground  and 

finding  the  appellant  not  there  should  be  quit  of  the  claim  against  him  for 

ever  after  if  he  took  three  witnesses  of  his  due  presence  there. 

Furthermore,  as  Dr.  Neilson  points  out  in  his  Trial  by  Combat,  '  If  any 
of  these  witnesses  proved  a  backslider  by  refusing  his  evidence  afterwards, 
if  the  last  claim  happened  to  be  renewed,  the  person  aggrieved  might  bring 
defective  memory  to  task  by  fighting  any  one  of  the  witnesses,  or,  if  need 
be,  all  the  3.' 

There  is  a  further  reference  to  this  term  Handwarsil  or  '  Handwarcel ' 
mentioned  in  the  case  of  one  Henry  Scot  in  the  Calendar  of  Documents 
relating  to  Scotland  (vol.  ii.  p.  59),  and  is  there  indexed  as  Handwarcelle,  a 
March  custom  in  Cumberland  after  a  robbery.  This  document  was  so  much 
mutilated  that  it  was  difficult  to  make  out  the  real  procedure  involved,  for 
it  appears  from  one  passage  that  the  appellant  might,  if  he  liked,  pursue 
the  robber  at  common  law. 

On  this  occasion  it  was  the  king  himself  who,  desiring  to  have  justice 
done  in  the  case  of  tins  Henry  Scot  (who  had  professed,  and  was  ready  to 
place  himself  on  the  country  and  to  purge  his  innocence),  commanded 
'  the  Sheriff  to  keep  the  matter  in  statu  quo  till  his  next  arrival  in  these 
parts,  and  then  to  assemble  a  jury  of  the  county  to  enquire  into  the  law 
and  custom  of  the  March.' 

An  Inquisition  was  held  at  Carlisle  in  the  eighth  year  of  Edward  i.  before 
certain  knights,  the  mayor  and  sundry  citizens,  'who  say,  respecting  the 
laws  and  customs  in  use  in  Cumberland,  that  from  a  time  whereof  no 
memory  exists,  if  any  robber  in  the  kingdom  of  .  .  .,  he  must  quickly 
within  the  day  or  night  after  the  robbery,  according  to  the  distance  of  the 


warsil),  from  three  Barons  to  testify  that  he  has 
properly  appeared  on  his  day.  And  this  being 
approved  by  them  he  shall  be  forever  freed  from  that 
charge.  And  if  by  chance  any  one  of  the  three  refuse 
to  testify  he  may  have  a  combat.  The  same  rule 
applies  to  the  prosecutor. 

'Eighthly,  they  asserted,  that  if  any  Scots  thief 
shall  have  stolen  a  horse  in  England,  or  oxen,  or  cows 
or  anything  else  and  leads  the  same  away  into  Scot- 
land the  owner,  in  whatsoever  place  he  finds  his  gear, 
shall  recover  it  in  the  Court  of  the  Feudal  Lordship 
where  he  has  found  his  gear. 

'  And  this  he  shall  recover  in  the  aforesaid  Court  by 
the  oath  of  six  men — his  own  making  the  seventh — 
unless  it  chance  that  he  who  retains  the  gear  says  it 

place  where  committed  [go  to  ?]  Brunscaythe  on  the  English  side,  and  to 
Rocheland  on  the  Scottish  side,  and  there  publish  to  them  the  robbery 
committed  on  him,  and  have  his  evidence.  .  .  . 

'  And  if  he  finds  him  within  40  days,  he  must  sue  him  according  to  the 
law  and  custom  of  the  March,  as  follows : — a  writ  from  the  Sheriff  of 
Cumberland  to  the  King  of  Scotland's  Sheriff  of  Dumfries,  that  he  let  him 
have  "  Handwarcelle  "  regarding  the  robbery  (?).  .  .,  that  he  answer  to  him 
on  whom  the  robbery  was  committed,  and  defend  himself  by  his  hand.' 
Part  of  another  section  runs,  '  And  he  who  is  of  the  English  realm  shall 
have  a  lance,  a  sword,  and  a  targe,  if  he  wishes.' 

This  would  correspond  with  the  ordinary  law  of  England  at  that  time. 
See  Forsy  th,  206,  who  says, '  In  the  time  of  Bracton  (middle  of  the  thirteenth 
century),  the  usual  mode  of  determining  innocence  or  guilt  was  by  combat 
or  appeal.  But  in  most  cases  the  appellant  had  the  option  of  either  fight- 
ing with  his  adversary  or  putting  himself  on  his  country  for  trial'  The 
exceptions  being  murder  by  secret  poisoning,  and  certain  circumstances 
presumed  by  the  law  to  be  conclusive  of  guilt.  See  article,  'Jury,'  in 
vol.  xv.,  Encyclopcedia  Britannica,  Cambridge  Edition. 



is  his  own,  in  which  case  a  contest  may  issue  on  the 

'  Ninethly,  they  asserted  that  if  any  one  shall  be 
indicted — whether  Scots  or  English — for  life  and 
limbs  at  the  Marches  on  a  charge  of  robbery,  theft  or 
homicide,  the  pledges — if  the  defendant  is  worsted  in 
contest — shall  not  be  responsible  for  more  than  the 
amount  set  forth  by  the  prosecutor  in  his  claim. 

'  Tenthly,  they  asserted,  that  if  any  evil-doer,  who 
has  entered  into  any  part  of  the  other  realm,  shall 
there  wish  to  have  peace  he  shall  have  it  from  those 
who  can  give  it,  namely,  from  the  High  Sheriff,  and 
if  by  chance  he  cannot  find  the  High  Sheriff,  he  can 
receive  peace  at  the  first  church — the  bells  being  rung 
—and  there  he  shall  be  in  peace  until  he  shall  have 
peace  through  the  High  Sheriff.  And  if  before  he 
has  peace  he  is  apprehended  he  shall  be  led  off 
without  any  hindrance. 

'Eleventhly,  they  asserted,  that  if  any  one  shall  claim 
any  mare,  ox,  cow  or  pig,  or  any  other  animal  in 
either  England  or  Scotland,  as  his  own  he  shall  have 
the  benefit  of  all  the  delays  agreed  upon  between  the 
realms  and  the  full  term  of  days  in  the  cause.  If  he 
shall  wish  to  come  off  without  fighting,  and  finds  that 
the  gear  is  not  his  own,  he  shall  on  the  appointed  day 
drive  it  back  to  the  Marches,  and  send  word  to  the 
party  against  whom  he  claimed  the  gear  that  the 


horse  is  his  and  shall  drive  it  into  the  water  of  Tweed 
or  Esk.1 

'  And  the  defendant  shall  be  quit  of  that  claim  or 
charge.  If  the  animal  is  drowned  before  it  has 
crossed  the  stream  of  water  (mid-stream)  he  shall  be 
responsible  for  it  according  to  March  custom,  and  the 
same  holds  good  of  an  ox,  cow  or  pig  or  anything  else, 
save  baggage,  of  which  there  is  no  mention. 

'  Twelfthly,  they  asserted,  that  no  Englishman  can 
test  an  accused  Scot  by  means  of  witnesses — the 
converse  also  holding  good — save  only  by  the  body  of 
a  man,  and  thus  many2  contests  can  arise  in  the 
disputes  that  have  occurred  or  are  likely  to  occur 
between  the  marches. 

'  Thirteenthly •,  it  must  be  known  that  if  any  one 
happens  to  be  in  the  realm  of  England  or  Scotland, 
or  conversely,  according  to  the  Laws  of  the  Marches, 
who  claims  a  debt  in  the  other  kingdom  where  he 
remains,  he  must  advise  the  clerics,  if  it  is  a  cleric 
who  is  in  his  debt,  the  knights,  if  it  is  a  knight,  the 
burgesses,  if  it  is  a  burgess,  and  by  them  the  case 
must  be  decided  and  not  by  others. 

'Further,  they  agreed,  that  Inburghe  and  Out- 
burghe  (magistrates  within  and  without  burghs)  shall 

1  The  Esk  was  then  the  boundary  line.     The  '  Debatable  Land '  came 
into  being  later  owing  to  English  encroachments  or  invasions. 

2  Nulla  in  text,  but  this  makes  nonsense.    Read  instead  from  other 
versions  multa. 


have  power  to  distrain  either  country  so  that  the 
above-mentioned  customs  may  be  inviolately  observed 
between  the  two  realms.' 

From  Article  8  in  the  foregoing  list  of  laws,  it  is 
plain  that  no  Warden  Courts  can  have  existed  at  this 
time,  for  the  pursuer  has  to  recover  his  goods  in  the 
court  of  the  fee  in  which  he  finds  them.  There  is 
here  no  assize  or  jury — as  in  the  later  laws — to  '  foul' 
or  '  clear '  the  bills ;  the  method  of  justice  is  as  simple 
as  possible,  proceeding  by  oaths  and  ordeal  of  battle. 

Indeed,  the  whole  procedure  derives  from  an  earlier 
epoch  than  that  of  the  earliest  Lord  Wardens ;  mark 
the  ancient  methods  of  compurgation  (per  sacra- 
mentum  sex  virorum  et  se  septimo),  the  sureties  or 
pledges,  the  disallowing  of  witnesses,  and  the  final 
appeal  to  the  sword,  which  decides  the  cause  by  the 
success  or  defeat  of  the  defendant  in  single  combat 1 
(duellum).  As  Dr.  Neilson  points  out  in  his  Trial  by 
Combat,  it  was  '  a  root  principle  of  March  law  that 
there  could  be  no  proof  by  witnesses — there  could 
only  be  probation  by  the  body  of  a  man.' 

1  Trial  by  combat  was  not  formally  abolished  in  England  till  1819. 
In  the  previous  year  a  defendant,  one  Abraham  Thornton,  accused  of 
manslaughter,  claimed  to  defend  his  cause  '  by  his  body,'  and  threw  down 
a  gauntlet  in  accordance  with  the  centuries-old  duel  of  law.  In  the  event 
the  appeal  was  withdrawn,  Thornton  was  set  free,  and  the  ancient  law 
was  repealed. 



'  The  Sword 

The  voice  of  the  Sword  from  the  heart  of  the  Sword 
Clanging  majestical, 
As  from  the  starry-staired 
Courts  of  the  primal  Supremacy, 
Her  high  irresistible  song.' 

W.  E.  HENLEY. 

The  ancient  procedure  disclosed  by  this  earliest '  Law 
of  the  Marches '  is  then  of  the  greatest  interest,  as 
well  from  the  historic  as  from  the  romantic  point  of 
view.  Since  from  the  earliest  times,  according  to  the 
inquest  held  by  Cressingham  at  Carlisle  in  1292,  this 
duellum  or  trial  by  combat  on  the  Border  had  had  to 
decide  the  issue  on  matters  touching  life  and  limb 
between  Englishmen  and  Scotsmen. 

None  might  escape  this  ordeal  if  accused — none 
save  the  Kings  of  England  and  Scotland,  and  their 
heirs,  and  the  Bishops  of  St.  Andrews  and  Dunkeld 
or  Durham — and  at  the  four  march  forums  or  battle 
grounds  of  Camisford,1  opposite  Norham  on  the  East 
Marches ;  Redam,  or  the  Riding  burn,  that  runs  into 
Tweed  a  mile  or  more  west  of  Carham,  for  the  Middle 
Marches;  Gammelspath  [viz.  the  height  of  Watling 

1  Identified  by  Dr.  Neilson  with  a  ford  opposite  to  Norham.  Hamisford 
is  an  alternative  reading,  and  Dr.  Neilson  gives  as  reference,  p.  243, 
Twysdem's  Decem  Scriptores  (sub  anno  1121),  'Ranulphus  Dunelmensis 
episcopus  castellum  apud  Northam  incepit,  super  ripam  Twedar,  in  loco  qui 
Ethamesforda  dicitur.' 


Street  above  Ad  Fines  Camp]  for  Coquetdale  and 
Redesdale,  and  Sulwath  or  '  Sol  way ' *  for  the  Western 
Marches,  the  fight  between  the  appellant  and  defend- 
ant of  the  different  nations  was  bound  to  take  place. 

No  proof,  said  the  stern  Border  customs,  can  be 
admitted  by  an  Englishman  against  a  Scot,  or  by  a 
Scot  against  an  Englishman,  '  save  only  by  the  body  of 
a  man,'  nisi  tantummodo  per  corpus  hominis ;  whence, 
continues  the  same  terse  code,  it  is  that  many  combats 
take  place  out  of  the  various  disputes  that  arise  upon 
the  Border.  Even  when,  as  in  the  case  of  sundry 
shivering  ecclesiastics  appealed  by  the  opposite  side, 
the  defendant  preferred  to  be  represented  by  a 
champion,  he  was  liable  to  be  beheaded  in  the  event 
of  his  champion's  defeat,  as  happened  indeed  to  the 
unfortunate  Prior  of  Lideley,2  who  presumably  must 
have  failed  to  obtain  sureties  for  the  claim  made 
against  him. 

1  Bishop  Nicholson's  Lex  gives  only  two  meeting-places,  but  the  Acts  of 
Parliament  of  Scotland  give  four,  as  above  stated.     As  to  the  battle  ground 
of  Sulwath  (the  act  says  '  the  Sheriffs  of  Carlisle  and  Cumberland  must 
answer  at  Sulwath — apud    Sulewath' — which  Dr.   Neilson,   with  great 
learning  and  research,  identifies  with  the  Lochmabenstone  beside  Solway, 
near  to  Gretna  Green),  see  his  Annals  of  the  Solway  (Maclehose.    Glasgow). 
Therein  he  seems  to  have  established  his  contention  that  Solway  meant 
originally  the  '  muddy  ford ' — over  Esk,  at  that  time  the  boundary  between 
England  and  Scotland.     Fordun  styles  it  'Scotiswath  sive   Sulwath' — 
Solway  being  a  comparatively  late  term. 

2  See  Ridpath's  History  of  the  Border,  p.  98,  for  a  remonstrance   of 
the    clergy    of    England,     presented    to     the    Legate    Otho    in     1237, 
for  procuring  redress  from  the  king  of  several  encroachments  on  their 


Idealising  the  past,  one  might  imagine  the  youthful 
champion  like  a  ruddy-cheeked  David,  ever  triumphant 
over  the  oppressor  upon  the  windy  heath  of  Gammels- 
path,  under  the  shadow  of  Thirlmoor,  overlooking  the 
old  Roman  Camp  of  Ad  Fines,  but  in  stern  reality 
the  brutal  Bonthron  or  fearnowt  Armstrong  would 
usually  be  victor,  even  though  his  cause  was  based 
upon  guile,  avarice,  or  lust  of  revenge. 

1  His  strength  is  as  the  strength  of  ten 
Because  his  heart  is  pure,' 

sang  Lord  Tennyson  in  his  Idylls,  but  '  the  Song  of 
the  Sword'  of  another  poet  more  justly  based  the 
'  Court  of  the  primal  Supremacy '  upon  the  stark 
strength  of  the  sword-bearer. 

'  Glittering  and  keen 
As  the  song  of  the  winter  stars, 
Ho  !  then  the  sound 
Of  my  voice,  the  implacable 
Angel  of  Destiny ! 
I  am  the  Sword.' 

The  sword  then  in  these  early  days  decided  the 
law  plea  before  the  grim  Borderers  in  the  Areopagus 
of  the  moorland,  and  in  the  event  of  defeat  the 
vanquished  must  endure  loss  of  goods,  fame,  and 
sometimes  life  itself. 

We  return,  however,  to  the  unfortunate  Prior  of 
Lideley,  who,  as  we  surmised  above,  must  have  been 
unable  to  obtain  sureties  or  pledges,  for  only  in  that 


event,  and  a  subsequent  conviction  by  duel,  would  he 
be  liable  to  be  handed  over  to  his  accusers  '  to  do 
justice  concerning  him  at  their  will' — liberaretur 
quaerenti  jfaciendo  de  ipso  voluntatem  suam.1 

Now,  as  is  clear  from  the  case  of  Henry  Scot 2  and 
John  of  Wyncheles,  an  accuser  had  only  to  make  a 
preposterous  claim  for  damages  to  debar  the  defendant 
from  obtaining  sureties. 

This  evidently  gave  a  swash-buckler,  or  '  a  man  of 
Belial,  swollen  with  food  and  wine,'  an  unfair 
advantage,  and  it  was  this  custom  that  Edward  I. 
'repudiated'  ('reprobavit '),  about  1280.  For  the 
defendant  seemingly,  if  appealed,  was  bound  to 
fight — to  take  handwarcel — but  he  had  also  to  find 
security — et  nichilominus  inveniret  securitatem  quae- 
renti de  dampnis  praedictis2 — and  if  he  could  not, 
then  the  accuser  had  his  will  with  him.  The 

1  '  Henry  Scot  had  bought  a  horse  at  the  fair  of  Carlisle,  and  he  com- 
plained to  the  Sheriff  of  Cumberland  that  John  of  Wyncheles  had  appealed 
him  of  theft  by  law  of  March,  according  to  which  Henry,  if  unable  to  find 
securities  to  pay  John  whatever  he  claimed  as  damages,  even  if  it  were 
.£1000,  must  undergo  judgment  as  lawfully  convicted.     An  inquiry  was 
ordered,  and  the  inquest  declared  that  there  had  been  a  custom  from  a  time 
whereof  no  memory  existed,  that  a  Scotch  robber  must  be  sued  within  40 
days,  and  that  this  pursuer  was  entitled  to  Handwarcel  with  spear  and 
sword  and  targe.    The  Kecord  of  the  inquest  is  somewhat  mutilated,  but  its 
fragments  suffice  to  make  it  clear  that  the  juries  of  1292  accurately  stated 
what  had  been  the  law  before  1280,  that  an  accuser  who  could  find  no 
securities  was  liable  to  be  handed  over  to  his  accusers  to  do  justice  con- 
cerning him  at  their  will.'     (Neilson,  Trial  by  Combat,  p.  130.) 

2  Historical  Documents  relating  to  Scotland  (Stevenson),  vol.  i.  p.  357  : 
'Extracts  from  the  Eoll  of  the   Justices   Itinerant   in  the  Courts   of 
Cumberland,  having  reference  to  the  affairs  of  Scotland.' 


passages  referring  to  the  matter  are  very  obscure, 
but  Edward  i.  seemingly  must  have  reduced  the 
amount  of  security  demanded  to  the  actual  value  of 
the  damage. 



We  give  now  a  short  summary  of  the  Border  Laws 
which  follow  in  Bishop  Nicholson's  collection  of  the 
year  and  reign  as  under  :— 

1449.1   Henry  vi.  1464.1   Edward  iv. 

1533.1   Henry  vra.         1549.    Edward  vi. 

1553.     Queen  Mary.     1563.] 

\  Queen  Elizabeth. 
1596. J 

These  early  indentures l  are,  in  the  first  instance, 
Truces  and  Abstinences  from  War  between  the  Kings 
of  England  and  Scotland,  and  the  chief  officers  re- 
sponsible are  termed  Conservators  of  the  Truce,  with 
whom  are  joined  various  knights  and  all  the  Admirals 
of  the  Sea  and  Wardens  of  the  Marches.  In  the  in- 
denture of  1449  the  Conservators  '  ordain  and  conclude 

1  These  are  all  written  in  mediaeval  Latin :  the  text  is  very  corrupt, 
sometimes  impossible  of  construction,  and  very  full  of  repetition,  so  that 
instead  of  attempting  to  translate  them  in  full  the  present  writer  thought 
it  better  to  give  a  few  notes  of  the  most  interesting  articles  in  these 
treaties  on  '  Border  Laws.' 

The  remaining  '  Border  Laws '  are  in  English,  and  are  printed  in  Bishop 
Nicholson's  Leges  Marchiarum.  (London,  1705.) 


that  all  and  every  one  of  the  Wardens  of  the  Marches 
on  either  side,  whether  present  or  future,  as  well  as 
all  the  notable  men  in  the  said  Marches  from  the  town 
of  Newcastle-on-Tyne  and  Penrith  in  England  on  the 
one  side,  and  on  the  other  the  inhabitants  of  the 
Marches  from  the  towns  of  Edinburgh  and  Dumfries 
in  Scotland  towards  England  shall  swear  for  them- 
selves, and  all  of  them  on  the  Holy  Evangel  of  God 
in  front  of  them — corporeally  touching  it — that  they 
will  observe  the  said  truce  in  all  and  singular  its 
articles,  without  any  deceit,  fraud,  or  evil  intention, 
and  will  cause  others  to  observe  the  same  as  far  as  in 
them  lies.' 

That  the  Wardens  had  not  yet  acquired  the  full 
powers  they  enjoyed  later,  and  that  their  *  Days  of 
Truce '  or  March  Days  on  the  Border  line,  with  their 
jurisdiction  and  assize,  were  not  at  this  time  estab- 
lished, is  proved  by  sundry  of  the  sections  of  this 
indenture.  No.  12  runs  as  follows  :— 

1449  A.D.  '  It  has  been  agreed  that  if  any  one  on 
the  one  side  or  the  other,  whilst  the  Truce  lasts,  take 
any  fortalice  from  the  other  the  aggrieved  possessor 
may  recover  it  by  use  of  force  or  otherwise  as  best  he 
can,  and  the  evil-doers  shall  be  punished  as  the  case 

'  And  the  Conservators  of  that  part  whose  subject 
has  taken  the  fortalice  shall  be  bound  to  succour  and 


assist  him  whose  fortalice  has  been  taken  and  to  make 
it  good  to  him  at  the  expense  of  the  offending  party 
as  quickly  and  conveniently  and  diligently  as  possible  ; 
or  if  the  offended  party  prefer  it  he  may  inform  the 
King  and  Conservators  of  the  other  part  or  their 
deputies  to  cause  the  said  fortalice  to  be  restored  to 
him,  which  they  shall  be  bound  to  do  and  carry  out  to 
their  power,  without  deceit,  fraud  or  evil  intention.' 

Again,  section  13  deals  with  malefactors  guilty  of 
wrong-doing  in  the  opposite  realm.  They  are  to  be 
punished,  if  caught,  according  to  the  laws  of  the  land 
wherein  they  have  offended. 

If  they  escape,  the  Conservators  of  the  other  realm 
must  attach  them,  if  so  requested,  and  hand  them 
over  to  the  other  realm  for  punishment. 

'  If  they  cannot  be  apprehended  then  the  King — 
whose  subjects  they  are — must  banish  them  with 
sound  of  trumpet  at  once  and  forever  from  his 
dominions,  unless  and  until  they  have  fully  satisfied 
the  offended  party  for  their  transgressions  or  attempts 
against  him.' 

There  is  here  no  mention  of  the  Wardens'  court  or 
jury  to  assess  the  damages,  '  the  double  and  sawfey ' 
of  which  we  hear  so  much  later  on.  The  malefactor 
is  to  be  banished,  if  not  caught,  and  the  Conservators 
are  to  make  good  his  misdeeds  out  of  his  goods  so 
far  as  they  will  suffice.  If  he  is  caught  and  has  not 


enough  goods  to  make  satisfaction,  he  is  to  be  more 
severely  punished  and  pay  in  his  body.  Any  one  re- 
setting, counselling,  or  favouring  the  evil-doer  is  to  be 
held  responsible  for  the  other's  misdeeds. 

Shipwreck. — Sundry  sections  of  the  indenture  deal 
with  the  protection  of  seamen  who  may  be  ship- 
wrecked, or,  driven  by  stress  of  weather,  put  into 
ports  of  the  other  realm.  They  assign  punishment 
to  those  who  offend  against  them  or  rob  their  ships. 
The  various  Admirals  of  either  realm  are  with  the 
Wardens  conjointly  named  as  Conservators  of  the 
Truce  with  the  Commissioners.  They  doubtless  dealt 
with  fugitives  by  sea,  sea- robbing  and  shipwreck  of 
ships  and  sailors. 

Clauses  5,  6,  7,  8  run  as  follows  : — 

(5)  'Also,  it  has  been  arranged  and  concluded 
between  ourselves  and  the  said  Ambassadors,  that  if 
during  the  duration  of  the  Truce  or  abstinence  from 
warfare,  it  happens  that  any  subjects  or  vassals  of 
the  said  most  excellent  Prince,  King  of  England  and 
France  as  they  sail  by  sea  on  any  just,  reasonable  or 
lawful  cause — whether  as  merchants,  pilgrims,  fishers 
or  otherwise — under  stress  of  wind  or  storm,  or  any 
other  just,  reasonable,  necessary  and  urgent  cause, 
though  they  did  not  wish  it  nor  had  proposed  it  at 
the  time  of  their  leaving  home — should  put  in  at  any 
port  or  other  place  of  the  realm  of  Scotland,  or  suffer 


shipwreck  in  any  other  place  in  the  same  kingdom, 
while  any  person  remains  alive  in  the  shipwrecked 
ship.  In  this  event  it  shall  not  be  lawful  to  the 
most  excellent  Prince,  King  of  Scots,  his  cousin,  or 
any  one  of  his  subjects  or  vassals,  either  by  himself 
or  others,  to  seize  or  take  away  from  these  ship- 
wrecked or  storm-beaten  men  their  ships,  goods  or 
merchandise,  or  to  take  away  anything  from  them, 
or  detain,  or  by 'reason  of  the  debt  of  any  one  to  arrest 
them,  or  cause  to  be  arrested  in  whole  or  in  part ; 
but  it  shall  be  lawful  to  these  shipwrecked  or  storm- 
beaten  men,  thus  detained  by  the  repair  of  their 
ships — the  reason  of  their  detention  having  ceased — 
to  depart  with  their  ships,  merchandise,  goods  and 
gear,  as  quickly  as  conveniently  they  can  without  any 
question,  hindrance,  arrest  or  action  being  made  or 
brought  against  them  by  the  said  most  illustrious 
Prince,  the  King  of  Scots,  or  any  subject  or  subjects 
of  his. 

(6)  '  And  in  like  manner,'  etc.  : — viz.  exactly  the 
same  provisions  are  to  be  applied  in  the  case  of  ship- 
wrecked subjects  of  the  King  of  Scotland. 

(7)  '  Also,  it  has  been  arranged  and  concluded  by 
our  aforesaid  Commissioners  on  either  side,  that  if 
any  one  or  more  of  the  subjects  of  the  most  dread 
King  of  England  and  France,  as  is  above  said,  chances 
to  be  driven  ashore  or  shipwrecked,  or  to  come  into 


the  realm  of  Scotland  under  safe-conduct  before  the 
date  of  its  expiration,  or  is  so  harassed  by  ill  health 
that  he  cannot — being  thus  driven  ashore,  or  coming 
under  safe-conduct  in  his  ship  which  has  put  into 
shore,  or  coming  in  before  the  date  of  expiry  of  his 
safe-conduct — conveniently  depart  and  go  to  his  own 
land,  then  he  shall  have  liberty,  being  ill,  or  driven 
ashore  or  wrecked  on  his  voyage,  to  stay  in  safety 
wherever  he  may  have  been  driven  or  shipwrecked 
until  he  shall  have  recovered,  and  thereafter  with 
letters  of  testimony  from  the  Mayor,  or  Bailiff, 
Constable,  or  any  other  officer  of  the  Lord  the  King  in 
the  place  wherein  he  shall  happen  to  be  invalid — the 
cause  of  his  illness  abating — to  depart  on  moderate 
charges,  to  his  own  country  without  any  impediment 
or  obstacle  whatsoever,  from  any  of  the  subjects  or 
vassals  of  the  Lord,  the  King  of  Scots. 

'  On  the  understanding  that  he  shall  not  attempt, 
nor  cause  to  be  attempted,  anything  prejudicial 
against  the  King,  his  realm,  or  his  subjects.' 

(8)  All  of  the  above  provisos  to  hold  equally  good 
in  the  case  of  Scots  in  the  like  case.  There  are  also 
further  clauses  dealing  with  shipwrecked  goods,  loss 
of  gear  and  robbing  of  the  same  by  subjects  of  either 
realm  or  by  foreigners. 

The  question  of  those  who  travel  in  the  opposite 
realm  under  safe-conduct  is  also  dealt  with. 


Two  letters  of  safe-conduct  are  to  be  made  out 
under  the  Great  Seal  of  either  kingdom,  the  English 
safe-conduct  to  remain  in  some  convenient  place  on 
the  Scottish  Border,  the  Scots  letter  similarly  to 
remain  on  the  English  Border,  either  for  the  use  of 
the  subjects  of  their  several  realm  who  seek  for 
justice  for  offences  done  them,  but  not  more  than 
three  or  four  together  may  use  it  at  one  time. 

An  injured  individual,  however,  may  follow  his 
aggressor  into  the  opposite  realm  without  any  safe- 
conduct,  if  he  does  so  within  six  days.  This,  by  the 
way,  is  the  '  cold  trod,'  as  the  phrase  went,  as  opposed 
to  *  hot  trod,'  viz.  immediate  pursuit  '  with  hue  and 
cry  and  horn  and  hound/  that  was  allowed  even  up 
to  the  union  of  the  two  crowns.  The  aggrieved  in- 
dividual is  also  permitted,  if  he  prefers  it,  to  approach 
one  of  the  Wardens  of  the  opposite  realm  or  his 
deputy  within  six  days  for  obtaining  justice.  Again, 
by  virtue  of  the  letters  of  safe-conduct,  an  aggrieved 
individual  may  at  any  time,  while  the  truce  lasts, 
enter  the  opposite  realm  and  prosecute  his  cause 
under  any  competent  judge l  therein. 

1  This  is  further  defined  in  another  treaty  sealed  by  the  Commissioners  in 
the  Church  of  St.  Nicholas  in  Newcastle,  14th  August  1451.  (Rymer, 
Foedera,  vol.  xi.  p.  360.) 

'Competent  judge'  was  declared  to  be  'the  Warden  of  that  march 
where  the  delinquent  resided :  and  if  the  person  complained  of  has  not 
his  residence  within  the  limits  of  either  march,  or  could  not  be  found 
within  the  limits  of  that  where  he  actually  resided,  or  was  wont  to  reside, 


Hunting,  fishing,  fowling  or  taking  their  pleasure 
in  the  opposite  realm  is  forbidden  without  leave,  first 
obtained  from  the  proprietors,  the  *  Hunting  of 
the  Cheviot '  being  always  a  favourite  pastime  of  the 
Scots.  As  for  cattle  depasturing  in  the  other  realm, 
the  injured  individual  must  not  take  the  law  into  his 
own  hands,  but  will  have  justice  done  him  according 
to  the  law  and  custom  of  his  own  realm. 

Fugitives  from  justice,  becoming  '  liegemen '  of  the 
other  realm,  must  answer  before  the  Conservators  of 
the  Truce  on  the  opposite  side  for  their  misdeeds. 

Other  fugitives  are  to  be  handed  over  whence  they 

In  concluding,  the  indenture  gives  full  power  to 
the  Wardens  and  Admirals  in  their  respective  spheres 
to  reform  and  make  good  all  losses  and  felonies,  etc., 
committed  in  defiance  of  the  truce,  and  to  punish  all 
evil-doers  as  they  deserve.  In  default  of  justice, 
either  prince  can  appeal  to  the  other  by  herald,  who 
should  send  at  least  once  a  year  two  or  three  of  his 
Council  to  the  marches,  not  alone  to  punish  the  trans- 
gressors, but  also  to  examine  if  the  Conservators  of 

the  plaintiff  might,  in  that  case,  present  a  bill  or  schedule  of  his  complaint 
to  the  Warden,  who  should  with  all  convenient  speed  transmit  the  bill, 
together  with  the  plaintiff,  if  the  latter  desired  it,  furnished  with  letters  of 
attestation  and  safe-conduct,  to  be  delivered  without  fee  or  reward,  to  the 
Chancellor  of  the  Kingdom  of  which  the  party  complained  of  was  a  subject : 
whereupon  the  Chancellor  should  summon  the  party  accused,  and  with  all 
possible  despatch  administer  justice  to  the  plaintiff.' 


the  Truce,  the  Wardens,  or  their  deputies  have  been 
remiss  in  the  execution  of  justice. 

These  Truces,  Abstinences  from  War  and  Border 
Laws  were  to  be  proclaimed  at  the  chief  places  along 
the  Border,  and  occasionally  throughout  England,  as 
may  be  seen  in  an  injunction  given  in  Bymer,  14 
Ed.  iv.  (1474),  '  de  Treugis  Scotiae  proclamandis/ 

In  this  case  thirty-three  counties,  cities  and  towns 
are  mentioned — ranging  from  Northumberland  to 
Calais — where  the  proclamations  are  to  be  made. 

Usually,  however,  publication  and  notification  were 
to  be  made  by  the  Wardens  '  in  omnibus  et  singulis 
insignioribus  locis  Marcharium  suarum  tarn  in  regno 
Scotiae  quam  Angliae  publice  et  solen niter,'  beginning, 
for  example,  at  Coldstream,  then  next  day  at  Norham, 
and  so  on  as  continuously  and  expeditiously  as  possible 
within  the  following  eight  days. 

Or  again,  the  places  where  publication  is  to  be 
made  is  left  to  the  Wardens'  judgment,  as  in  the 
truce  of  1487,  where  the  actual  words  are  set  forth 
in  Bymer  as  follows  : — 

'  Captis  et  conclusis  Treugis  et  Abstinentiis  hujus 
modi  fiant  Proclamationes  publice  tarn  in  Confiniis 
utriusque  Regni  per  terram  quam  in  Portubus  maris 
et  in  aliis  Locis  ubi  expediens  videbitur  pro  firma  et 
inviolabili  Observatione  earundem  sub  Poena  incum- 


In  1464  an  indenture  made  between  Edward  iv. 
and  James  in.  provides  for  peace  between  the  realms 
for  fifteen  years,  and  therein  the  King  of  Scots  binds 
himself  not  to  '  give,  afford  sanction  or  allow  his 
subjects  to  give  countenance  or  favour  to  Henry, 
lately  styling  himself  King  of  England,  or  to  his  wife, 
Margaret,  or  to  Edward  his  son.' 

Neither  prince  may  issue  a  safe-conduct  to  a  traitor 
or  rebel  of  the  other. 

The  provisions  as  to  shipwreck  and  distressed 
seamen  are  nearly  the  same  as  before. 

No  impediment,  on  either  side,  to  be  given  to 
ships  sailing,  and  compelling  to  strike  sail  is 

Buying  of  wool  for  export  into  this  realm  forbidden. 
James  Douglas  is  expressly  comprehended  in  this 
truce  on  the  part  of  the  King  of  England  as  well 
as  others  born  in  Scotland  who  before  the  day  of 
these  presents  have  become  lieges  of  the  crown  of 

The  truce  does  not  apply  to  the  dominion  of  (Lorn) 
Lome  in  Scotland  nor  to  (London)  Lundy  Island  in 
England — '  the  said  dominion  and  island  not  being 
regarded  as  comprehended  in  this  truce.' 

The  oath  to  be  taken  as  in  the  former  indenture. 

There  is  an  indenture  of  the  weirdest  grammar 
conceivable  to  be  found  in  Rymer  (not  included  in 


the  Leges  Marchiarum)  under  date  1473,  viz.  in  the 
reign  of  Edward  iv.  of  England  and  James  in.  of 
Scotland,  which  deals  more  particularly  with  the 
place  of  the  Wardens'  meetings  and  also  prescribes 
the  number  that  shall  attend  upon  the  Wardens  at 
these  meetings  (viz.  2000),  their  lieutenants  (500), 
the  deputies  (200). 

It  is  further  ordered  that  the  slayer  of  an  English- 
man on  Scottish  ground,  or  the  slayer  of  a  Scot  on 
English  ground,  is  to  be  handed  over  on  request  made 
within  fifteen  days  to  the  party  complaining,  to  be 
'justified  or  ransomed  according  to  his  will.' 

If  the  slayer  be  fugitive  then  he  is  to  be  '  put  to 
the  King's  horn/  viz.  proclaimed  a  rebel,  and  any  one 
'  resetting '  (receiving)  him  is  to  incur  the  same 
penalty  as  the  homicide  himself  would  have  done  if 
he  had  been  captured. 

The  indenture  of  1533  in  the  Leges  Marchiarum 
is  to  establish  '  peace,  friendship,  league  and  alliance  ' 
between  Henry  vin.  and  James  v.  during  their  life 
and  for  one  whole  year  after  the  death  of  the  first  to 
die,  but  there  must  not  be  any  derogation  from  any 
of  the  ancient  and  pristine  treaties  on  either  side 
with  the  Most  Christian  King  of  France. 

Homicides,  thieves,  robbers,  fugitives  are  to  be 
handed  over  within  ten  days  of  the  receipt  of  a 
request  from  either  prince. 


The  granting  of  safe-conducts  to  be  left  to  the 
discretion  of  the  prince. 

Homicides  of  Scots  in  England  or  of  Englishmen  in 
Scotland  are  to  be  apprehended  by  the  Wardens  of 
either  march,  to  be  brought  to  an  appointed  diet  of 
the  Wardens,  and,  if  convicted,  to  be  handed  over  to 
the  opposite  Warden. 

1549.  Murderers  of  the  subjects  of  the  opposite 
realm  are  to  be  apprehended  by  the  Wardens,  brought 
to  the  '  Day  of  Trews/  and  there — if  convicted  by  the 
'  Laws  of  Marche' — to  be  handed  over  to  the  opposite 
Warden  to  be  punished  with  death. 

Cold  Trod,  or  the  following  up  of  goods  stolen, 
within  six  days  afterwards,  permitted  without  safe- 
conduct.  The  pursuer,  however,  must  '  go  unto  some 
honest  man,  inhabiting  within  the  Marches  which  he 
hath  enter'd,  and  declare  unto  him  the  cause  of 
his  entry.' 

1553.  Fyling  (convicting}  and  Acquitting  upon  the 
Honour  of  the  Warden. — Now  first  introduced,  and 
limited  '  to  offences  committed  since  the  acceptation  of 
the  last  Peace  and  before  the  date  of  these  Presents.' 

This  was  doubtless  to  expedite  arrears,  but  it 
seems  to  have  become  permanent  in  march  jurisdic- 
tion, and  to  have  been  extended  in  scope  as  set  forth 
in  the  indenture  of  1563. * 

1  On  this  subject,  see  also  pp.  111-4. 



It  would  appear  from  this  indenture  that  a  jury  of 
'  six  honest  and  famous  men '  of  the  Wardenry  were 
adjoined  to  the  Warden  in  these  cases  of  honour 
(now  extended  to  '  all  complaints  and  attempts ') 
by  the  opposite  Warden.  But  as  '  some  ungodly 
Persons '  took  advantage  of  this  order  to  '  make  com- 
plaints and  bill  for  goods  lost  where  none  was  taken 
from  them,  and  so  troubled  the  Wardens  to  speir  and 
search  for  the  thing  that  never  was  done/  then  are 
they  to  be  apprehended  and  handed  over  to  the 
opposite  Warden  (whom  they  had  thus  troubled)  to 
be  punished  by  him  at  his  discretion. 

The  growth  of  civilisation  and  this  increased  desire 
of  law  and  order  is  shown  by  the  instructions  incor- 
porated in  the  subsequent  Border  Laws. 

1553.  Baughling  or  reproving  a  subject  of  the 
opposite  realm  at  a  Day  of  Truce  forbidden — except 
by  licence  of  both  Wardens.1 

1563.  In  the  next  indenture  the  Wardens  must  see 
that  the  complainant  has  justice  done  him  on  his  bill 
of  complaint. 

Perjury. — Any  one  perjuring  himself  by  swearing 
falsely  his  innocence  of  a  bill  filed  against  him  is  to 
be  handed  over  to  the  opposite  Warden  to  be  im- 
prisoned for  three  months,  and  at  the  *  next  day  of 

1  For  the  full  treatment  of  the  enactment  and  the  meaning  of  the  word, 
see  Appendix  v. 


Trewes '  thereafter  is  to  be  '  brought  before  the 
Wardens  and  there  openly  be  denounced  and  pro- 
claimed a  Perjured  man :  after  which  time  he  shall 
not  be  reputed  to  be  a  man  able  to  give  further  Faith 
or  Testimony  in  any  case  or  Matter.' 

Overswearing  of  Value  of  Goods  stolen. — The  two 
Wardens,  with  a  jury  of  '  12  of  the  most  worshipful 
and  Credible  Persons,  then  being  present'  (half  of 
them  Scotsmen,  half  Englishmen),  may  '  moderate, 
diminish  or  qualifie  the  number  or  Price  of  the  goods 
or  Cattel  so  overs  worn.' 

Trespass  of  Cattle. — The  owner  of  the  ground — or 
in  his  default  the  Warden — where  one  of  the  opposite 
realm  '  willingly  and  customably  depastures  and  feeds 
with  his  cattle  or  sheep,  or  staffherds  the  same,'  may 
'  impound  the  said  cattel  and  keep  in  Pound  till  the 
owner  pays  for  the  first  time  for  every  nolt  [bullock] 
a  Penny  sterling,  and  for  every  Sheep  a  Penny  Scots. 

'  If  he  offend  again  a  double  Parkage  to  be  paid 
until  it  extend  to  2s.  per  nolt  and  6d.  per  sheep, 
beginning  again  with  each  New  Year  Day  with  a 
Penny  Sterling  and  a  Penny  Scots.' 

Some  progress  in  administration  upon  the  Border 
is  now  apparent,  because  in  Edward  iv.'s  indenture  it 
will  be  remembered  that  the  injured  person  was  to  be 
allowed  to  avenge  himself  ('  propria  authoritate  sua 
ulciscatur ')  if  he  could  not  obtain  justice. 


Fishing  in  the  Tweed. — There  were  various 
disputes  between  the  Captain  of  Norham,  Selby  of 
Twizell,  etc.,  and  the  Scots,  the  English  of  course 
fishing  the  southern  bank  and  the  Scots  the  northern 
bank  of  the  Tweed.  Any  one  '  unlawfully  troubling, 
stopping,  or  making  impediment '  to  the  subject  of 
the  opposite  realm  '  in  his  fishing  is  to  be  arrested  by 
the  Warden,  and  if  convicted  at  the  Day  of  Trews 
must  pay  20s.  sterling  for  every  Tyde  he  made 
impediment/  and  is  to  be  '  delivered  to  remain  with 
the  party  grieved,  until  the  same  be  fully  satisfied.' 

Double  and  Sawfey,1  or  Two  Doubles. — For  hurt  or 
wounding  the  same  penalty  is  to  be  paid  as  for 
robbing,  thieving,  and  spoiling,  viz.  '  2  Doubles/  as  it 
was  called  (viz.  the  original  loss  was  doubled  and  a 
third  mulct,  '  the  Sawfey '  being  added),  the  damage 
being  assessed  by  twelve  jurymen  (half  Scots,  half 
English).  '  Two  Doubles '  are  also  payable  for  maim- 
ing or  mutilation,  but  over  and  above  this  the  offender 
is  to  be  apprehended  and  delivered  to  the  opposite 
Warden,  who  is  to  punish  him  for  '  6  months  in  strayte 
prison.'  The  same  applies  to  damage  by  fire-raising ; 
and  in  1563  it  is  ordained  that  for  the  third  time  of 
offending  he  shall  '  incur  the  Pain  of  Death  as  a 
common  offender  against  the  Laws  of  the  Marches.' 
In  reality,  there  was  much  diversity  of  punishment, 

1  See  Appendix  v. 


for,  as  section  25  of  the  indenture  of  1553  points  out, 
each  Warden  had  '  a  Form  and  manner  of  proceeding 
different  from  the  other/  but  the  true  punishment  or 
fine  was  a  triple  one,  viz.  '  2  Doubles '  or  '  Double 
and  Sawfey'  in  addition  to  the  claim. 

1563.  Strict  orders  are  given  in  Queen  Elizabeth's 
reign  for  the  better  ordering  of  justice  on  the  Border, 
but  whether  much  reformation  was  effected  is  doubtful. 
Thus  '  the  Wardens  of  the  Marches  must  keep 
their  Days  of  March  often,  and  in  proper  person,  so 
far  as  may  be  and  not  by  their  Deputies,  without  just 
and  great  occasion.'  Days  of  Truce  are  not  to  be  let 
slip,  and  once  a  month  one  Day  of  March  at  least 
must  be  kept  at  every  march  by  the  officers  thereof. 

Price  of  Cattle  determined. — '  The  price  or  value 
of  Cattle  is  set  down — for  the  avoiding  of  perjury 
heretofore  committed  in  the  valuing  of  Cattel,  and  for 
a  great  terror  unto  the  wicked,'  and  also  for  the 
expediting  of  the  assessment  of  the  *  double '  and 
'  Sawfey.'  The  single  value  was  to  be  esteemed  and 
judged  as  follows  :— - 

'  Every  Ox,  above  4  years  old  .          40  shillings 

Every  Cow        „         ,,       ,,  .         30       ,, 

Every  Ox,  above  2  years  old .  .  20  ,, 
Every  young  Cow  do.  .  .  20  „ 
Every  other  beast  under  2  years  old  10  ,, 

Every  old  Sheep    ....  6/ 



[Every]  Sheep  Hogge        .         ...         3/ 
„       old  Swine  above  1  year  old  .         6/ 
young  „  .  2/ 

„  Gate  [Goat]  ,,  ,,  .  5/ 
„  young  Gate  .  .  .  2/ 
„  double  Toope  to  be  valued  after  the  rate  of 

the  Single.' 

The  Depasturing  or  Staffherding  of  Cattle  in  the 
opposite  Realm  is  further  dealt  with. — Cattle  or  sheep 
that  are  '  staffherded  or  remain  depasturing  upon  the 
ground  of  the  opposite  realm'  for  the  space  of  six 
hours  in  one  day  may  be  taken  to  his  own  use  by  the 
owner  of  the  ground  or  the  Warden.  The  proprietor 
or  "Warden  was  to  take  with  him  '  4  or  more  honest 
&  credible  persons  unsuspected,  to  be  present  with 
him,  to  see  that  the  execution  be  duly  made,  all 
fraud  and  Male  Engine  set  apart  &  removed.' 

'  In  the  event  of  the  cattle  depasturing  less  than 
6  hours  the  order  of  the  indenture  of  1553  is  to  apply 
concerning  Parkadge  &  Pounding.' 

'  If  lett  or  impediment  be  made  by  the  owner  of  the 
Cattle  then  are  they  to  be  lawfully  forfeited,  and 
taken  to  the  use  of  the  Owner  of  the  ground  or 
Warden,  for  the  Contempt  and  Resistance  made 
against  this  order  of  Justice.' 

Hot  Trod. — Any  new  rules  and  innovations  now 
made  in  Border  Laws  are  not  to  interfere  with  the 


old  custom  of  Hot  Trod,  viz.  the  following  '  their 
lawful  Trade  with *  Hound  and  Horn,  with  Hue  and 
cry,  and  all  other  accustomed  manner  of  fresh  Pursuit, 
Jor  the  Recovery  of  their  Goods  spoiled.' 


'  And  lang  Aicky,  in  the  Souter  Moor, 
Wi'  his  sleuth-dog  sits  in  his  watch  right  sure.' 

The  Fray  of  Support. 

'  Our  ancient  statutes,'  wrote  Sir  Walter  Scott  (Border  Minstrelsy, 
Hobbie  Noble,  note),  '  inform  us  that  the  blood-hound  or  sleuth-hound  (so- 
called  from  its  quality  of  tracing  the  slot  or  track  of  men  and  animals) 
was  early  used  in  the  pursuit  and  detention  of  marauders.' 

'  Nullus  perturbet  aut  impediat  canem  trassantem,  aut  homines  trassantes 
cum  ipso,  ad  sequendum  latrones.  Kegiam  majestatem  lib  4  ver.,  cap.  32.' 
Under  the  ancient  custom  of  '  Hot  Trode,'  so  continually  met  with  in 
Border  writings,  the  '  parties  grieved '  were — by  Border  Law  and  custom 
— 'to  follow  their  lawful  Trode  with  Hound  and  Horn,  with  Hue  and  Cry.' 
The  sentinel  upon  his  lonely  watch  would  certainly  have  been  much 
heartened  by  the  company  of  a  staunch  bloodhound,  and  the  fugitive 
as  much  discouraged.  '  These  hounds  seem  latterly  to  have  been  popularly 
termed  "  slough  dogs,"  for  pursuing  offenders  through  the  sloughs,  mosses, 
and  bogs,  that  were  not  passable  but  by  those  who  were  acquainted  with 
the  various  and  intricate  by-paths  and  turnings.' 

In  1595  the  Bishop  of  Durham  and  Lord  Eure  (Warden  of  Middle 
March)  wrote  to  Lord  Huntingdon  (Lord  President  in  the  north)  requesting 
that  he  should  cause  '  the  Justices  to  revive  the  good  orders  for  watches  of 
all  kinds,  sloughhounds  following  hue  and  cry,  and  putting  themselves  and 
servants  in  better  order  for  service  under  terms  and  leases  in  these  remote 
parts.'  (Calendar  of  Border  Papers.) 

And  again,  a  little  later,  Edward  Gray,  Deputy- Warden,  writes  to  Lord 
Eure  :  '  For  slew  dogges,  I  want  a  kallender  whiche  your  Lordship  hathe, 
by  which  I  should  call  the  dogs  in  their  several  divisions,  and  would  gladly 
have  it,  if  you  could  devise  means  to  send  it.' 

In  1616  the  Commissioners  of  His  Majesty's  middle  shires  appoint  the 
manner  of  providing  and  keeping  these  '  slough  dogs.'  '  The  sheriff,  officers, 
bailiffs,  and  constables,  within  every  circuit  and  compass  wherein  the 
slough  dogs  are  appointed  to  be  kept,  are  to  take  care  for  taxing  the 
inhabitants  towards  the  charge  thereof,  and  collect  the  same,  and  for  pro- 
viding the  "  slough  dogs,"  and  to  inform  the  commissioners  if  any  refuse  to 
pay  their  contributions,  so  as  thereby  such  as  refuse  may  be  committed  to 
the  gaol  till  they  pay  the  same.' 


A  Warden  may  pursue  in  Hot  Trod  fugitives  or 
offenders  into  the  opposite  realm,  and  none  may  let 
or  hinder  him,  but  must  join  him  on  request  and 
notice  given  of  the  reason  of  the  chase,  for  the 
Warden  is  to  give  knowledge  of  the  '  Hot  Trod '  to 
the  '  first  town  he  comet h  by  or  the  first  Person  he 
meeteth  with  '  on  such  occasions. 

If  the  pursuer  '  do  injury  or  unlawful  harm  within 
the  opposite  Realm'  he  is  to  be  delivered  to  the 
opposite  Warden  and  to  be  punished  at  his  discretion, 
and  other  twelve  persons  of  the  same  realm  to  be 
nominated  by  the  opposite  Warden. 

A  Warden's  Raid  or  Rode  (formerly  at  times 
undertaken  by  the  Warden,  who  was  permitted  to 
avenge  injury  by  his  own  strong  arm)  was  forbidden, 
'  except  when  specially  commanded  by  the  Prince/  by 
Elizabeth  in  1596,  but  this,  of  course,  would  not 
interfere  with  the  ancient  liberty  of  pursuing  the 
Hot  Trod. 

1596.  Again,  in  1596  stricter  order  is  to  be  taken 

O  * 

with  '  all  notorious  Thieves  and  Robbers '  within  the 
various  Wardenries.  A  list  must  be  enrolled  and  given 
in  to  the  Warden,  '  who  shall,  upon  the  first  attempt 
that  shall  be  truly  filed  upon  them  hereafter,  put  the 
offender  immediately  to  death :  or,  in  case  he  be 
fugitive,  shall  cause  him  to  be  proclaimed  such  an  one 
according  to  the  order  and  customs  of  the  Borders, 


and  his  House  immediately  to  be  demolished  and 
destroyed,  that  it  serve  him  no  more  for  Receipt 
within  that  Wardenry.'  Previously  to  this,  by  the 
Border  Law  of  1563,  the  offender  was  only  to  be  put 
to  death  for  the  third  fault. 

Goods  lost  to  be  claimed  within  Year  and  Day. — '  If 
it  shall  happen  any  person  to  have  bonajide  in  his 
possession  stollen  goods,  not  knowing  them  to  be 
stollen,  in  case  he  be  not  sued  therefor  within  year 
and  day,  the  goods  shall  remain  with  him  ever  after 
as  his  own  proper  goods.' 

Pledges. — Finally,  in  regard  to  the  '  pledges '  so 
often  mentioned,  usually  they  were  of  c  very  mean 
quality,'  not  unlike  Falstaff's  '  pressed  men,'  and 
their  fate  was  frequently  to  die  in  prison.  '  Haddock's 
Hole '  at  Berwick  had  its  tale  to  tell  of  these  vicarious 
pledges.  Prisons,  indeed,  were  so  foul  and  unsanitary 
that  prisoners  of  a  higher  quality,  who  would  be 
treated  with  greater  consideration,  often  suffered  the 
like  fate.  Thus  in  Henry  vn.'s  reign,  on  the  occasion 
of  '  Sir  Robert  Carre,  Warden  of  Scotland,  being 
slain e  at  a  trewe,  an  Heron  with  7  others  were 
delivered  for  him,  and  died  in  Fast  Castle  prisoners 
for  that  facte.' 

Sometimes  in  the  absence  of  his  '  pledges '  the 
Warden  would  *  deliver '  an  officer  of  his  own. 
Suppose,  for  example,  a  bill  had  been  'fyled'  upon 


an  inhabitant  of  his  Wardenry,  and  that  the  Warden 
had  not  been  able  to  arrest  him  at  the  Day  of  Truce, 
he  might,  to  prove  his  goodwill  and  faithfulness, 
hand  over  his  own  servant  instead.  In  which  case 
he  often,  as  the  phrase  went,  '  borrowed '  him  again 
upon  his  word. 

Thus  in  the  indenture  of  1596  section  11  deals  with 
the  personal  responsibility  of  the  Warden  in  this 

CclSG  *' 

'  Yf  the  warden  deliver  his  officer  for  a  bill  fyled 
before  him,  and  afterwards  borrow  him  again  upon  his 
word,  as  is  the  use,  yf  in  the  meantime  the  party  so 
fyled  depart  this  life,  by  whatsoever  way  or  means,  in 
this  case  the  Warden  shall  pay  the  bill,  and  seek  his 
remedy  and  relief  upon  the  heirs  and  executors  of  the 
Defunct,  as  he  may  best.' 

Broken  Men. — This  would  more  especially  be  the 
case  with  the  '  pledges '  of  the  '  broken  men/  such,  for 
example,  as  the  Routledges  on  the  West  March,  who 
were  proverbially  spoken  of  as  '  every  man's  prey.' 
There  was  special  provision  made  for  them  and  for 
'  clanless  loons'  in  the  indenture  of  1596,  where  certain 
sections  deal  with  the  pledges  to  be  entered  for  '  every 
sirname  of  broken  men'  (viz.  men  without  a  respon- 
sible head  or  chief),  and  also  with  the  pledges  for 
'  such  Border  men  and  others  as  are  not  of  any 
knowne  Clanne ' ;  and  it  is  enacted  '  that  being  entred 


thay  shall  be  kept  by  indifferent  men,  upon  their 
own  expense,  and  not  committed  to  the  custody  of 
any  person  with  whom  they  stand  at  feed  or  variance.' 
These  men  were  to  be  responsible  for  their  whole 
sirname,  and  if  the  bills  fyled  were  not  redressed 
within  a  year  and  a  day,  *  it  shall  be  in  the  choice  of 
the  Prince  or  officers  (in  whose  hands  they  remain)  to 
take  their  lives,  or  to  retain  or  seize  them  at  their 
pleasure  till  the  full  delivery  be  made/ 





Border  Meetings 

THE  phrase  'a  Border  Meeting'  might  imply  the 
coming  together  of  the  two  Wardens  for  the  holding 
of  a  Day  of  Truce,  or  else  the  assembly  of  the  Com- 
missioners or  Conservatores  Treugarum  for  settling 
peace  between  the  two  kingdoms. 

In  1598  Sir  William  Bowes,  writing  to  Burghley, 
thus  distinguishes  between  the  two  kinds  of  Border 
meetings.  '  1st.  Ordinary,  between  the  wardens  or 
deputies  for  common  justice.  2nd.  The  other,  the 
more  solemn,  as  between  commissioners  sent  for 
leagues,  treaties  of  peace,  or  misconduct  of  wardens. 
They  differ  in  kind  and  observance,  yet  agree  in 
others,  viz.,  taking  assurance;  meeting  at  the  place, 
and  sitting  in  some  church  or  town  for  business ;  also 
that  assurance  usually,  by  the  English  going  in,  is  de- 
manded and  taken  first,  immediately  after,  the  Scots 


demanding  and  receiving  the  like  of  ours.  They 
differ  more  in  other  two  points,  viz.,  the  more  prin- 
cipal commissioners  have  kept  their  meetings  on  the 
"very  marche  lyne,"  and  for  their  session,  mostly, 
not  always,  at  Berwick  or  Carlisle.  Ordinary  meet- 
ings and  sessions  usually  in  Scottish  ground,  except 
when  by  the  wardens'  agreement,  transposed  for  con- 
venience to  a  frontier  town.  I  find  from  "  auncient  " 
men  this  was  the  usage,  drawn  from  the  practice  of 
the  first  Lord  Wharton  and  Sir  Robert  Bowes,  two 
of  the  most  expert  Borderers  within  memory.' 

The  Form  and  Order  of  a  Day  of  Truce,  or  the 
Meeting  between  Warden  and  Warden 

In  Burn  and  Nicholson's  History  of  Westmorland 
and  Cumberland  there  is  given  a  very  interesting 
account  from  a  manuscript  of  one  Richard  Bell,  who 
appears  to  have  been  Warden  Clerk  on  the  Western 
March  during  the  greatest  part  of  Queen  Elizabeth's 
reign,  of  the  manner  of  keeping  Warden  Courts. 
These  courts  were  held  by  both  Wardens  at  Days  of 
Truce  for  the  mutual  redress  of  grievances  between 
the  subjects  of  the  one  kingdom  and  the  other  in  the 
various  Wardenries. 

In  this  manuscript  there  is  given  '  a  brief  declara- 
tion of  the  special  heads,  orders,  and  forms  of  the  laws 
of  Marches  of  ancient  time  used  upon  the  Borders 


by  the  Lord  Wardens  of  England  and  Scotland  at 
their  meetings  and  days  of  trewes.'  By  means  of 
their  messengers  or  servants,  the  various  Wardens 
would  arrange  with  each  other  a  day  and  place  of 
meeting,  and  their  clerks  would  be  instructed  to 
interchange  their  various  bills  containing  the  accusa- 
tions— the  list  of  '  attempts ' — of  either  realm  against 
the  other. 

Then  the  '  Days  of  Marche  so  appointed,  pro- 
clamation is  to  be  made  and  straite  letters  of  com- 
mandment directed  in  the  Queen's  Majesty's  name, 
for  all  lords,  knights,  esquires,  gentlemen,  and  several 
officers,  with  convenient  numbers  of  their  charge  and 
tenants  (as  time  and  service  require)  for  to  repair 
the  night  before,  and  give  their  attendance  upon  the 
Lord  Warden  unto  the  said  day  of  Marche,  defensibly 
arrayed,  and  with  their  best  horses  and  nags,  the 
morrow  next  following. 
Which  done, 

'The  Lord  Warden,  attended  with  the  gentle- 
men, officers,  servants,  and  their  powers,  is  to  ride 
from  the  place  where  he  inhabiteth,  unto  the 
Marche  bank,  all  staying  there  without  riding  any 
further,  or  going  over  the  stream  if  there  be  water, 
or  bounds  if  it  be  dry  land. 

'The  Lord  Warden  of  England  first  of  all   (the 


opposite  Warden  known  to  be  come  to  the  place 
appointed),  doth  send  either  his  deputy,  or  some 
other  special  gentleman  of  good  worth  whom  it 
pleaseth  him  to  make  choice  of,  with  a  convenient 
number  of  the  best-horsed  and  most  sufficient  gentle- 
men of  his  company,  unto  the  Warden  of  Scotland, 
signifying  his  repair  thither,  and  craving  assurance 
during  their  meeting  until  the  sun-rising  of  the  next 
day  following,  which  assurance  being  required  by 
England  and  granted  by  Scotland :  the  Scotch 
Warden,  holding  up  his  hand,  engages  for  perform- 
ing thereof  in  all  respects. 

'  Then  the  deputy  and  other  gentlemen  of  England, 
returning  back  to  the  Lord  Warden  of  England,  are 
to  make  relation  of  the  assurance  granted,  and  con- 
sent for  the  preservation  of  the  amity. 
Forthwith  after, 

'  The  Lord  Warden  of  Scotland  sendeth  his  deputy 
or  some  other  special  gentleman,  accompanied  with 
others  of  the  best  sort  of  horsemen,  unto  the  Lord 
Warden  of  England,  shewing  that  the  Lord  Warden 
of  Scotland  yieldeth  to  allow  and  confirm  the 
assurance  demanded  for  Scotland,  craving  the  like 
for  England :  which  the  Warden  of  England,  hold- 
ing up  his  hand,  granteth. 
That  done, 

'  The  Deputy  of  Scotland  and  his  company  return 


back  to  the  Warden  of  Scotland,  declaring  the  grant- 
ing of  the  assurance  by  England. 

'  The  Lord  Warden  of  England,  before  he  or  any  of 
his  company  enter  into  Scotland,  causeth  proclama- 
tion to  be  made  for  observation  of  the  peace,  for  old 
feeds l  [feuds]  and  new,  word,  deed  and  countenance, 
from  the  time  of  the  proclaiming  thereof,  until  the 
next  day  at  the  sun-rising,  upon  pain  of  death. 

'  The  like  proclamation,  after  their  return  forth 
of  England,  by  the  Scotch  Warden  made  before 

*  The  Lord  Warden  of  England  with  his  company 
entereth  into  Scotland,  riding  to  the  place  where  the 
Lord  Warden  of  Scotland  is,  and  lighting  off  horse- 
back stands  still,  until  the  Scotch  Warden  comes  to 
him  then  and  there  in  all  friendly  and  orderly 
manner,  mutually  embracing  the  one  the  other. 

'  After  meeting  and  conference  had  between  the 
Lord  Wardens,  they  draw  themselves  remote  to  some 
quiet  place,  interchangeably  calling  the  rolls  and  bills 
of  both  sides,  in  the  presence  of  the  gentlemen  of  the 
best  sorts  of  both  the  countries. 

'  If  any  doubt  arise  touching  the  fouling   of  the 

1  The  meaning  is  that  none  should  offend  another  by  any  speech,  action 
or  look,  and  that  no  '  deadly  feud '  of  the  past  should  be  revived  or  a  new 
feud  started. 


said  bills,  then  the  same  is  to  be  tried  either  by 
the  Lord  Warden's  honour,  or  a  jury  of  six  gentle- 
men of  England,  and  six  of  Scotland,  or  by  a  vower l 

The  oath  of  the  jurors  is  : 

'  You  shall  clean  no  bills  worthy  to  be  fouled,  you 
shall  foul  no  bills  worthy  to  be  cleaned,  but 
shall  do  that  which  appeareth  with  truth,  for 
the  maintenance  of  the  peace,  and  suppress- 
ing of  attempts:  So  help  you  God.' 

The  ancient  oath  for  excusing  bills  : 

'  You  shall  swear  by  heaven  above  you,  hell  be- 
neath you,  by  your  part  of  Paradise,  by  all 
that  God  made  in  six  days  and  seven  nights, 
and  by  God  himself,  you  are  whart  out  sack- 
less  of  art,  part,  way,  witting,  ridd,  kenning, 
having  or  resetting  of  any  of  the  goods  and 
cattels  named  in  this  bill :  So  help  you  God? 2 

The  oath  of  swearing  of  bills  fouled  : 

'  You  shall  leile  price  make,  and  truth  say,  what 
your  goods  were  worth  at  the  time  of  their 
taking  to  have  been  bought  and  sold  in  a 
market  taken  all  at  one  time,  and  that  you 
knew  no  other  recovery  but  this :  So  help  you 
God.' 3 

1  A  person  agreed  upon  by  both  parties,  who  was  to  be  of  the  country  of 
the  party  accused. 

2  This  evidently  must  be  the  oath  of  the  defendant. 

3  This  must  be  the  oath  of  the  prosecutor. 


'  The  Lord  Wardens l  having  proceeded  to  the  call- 
ing, fouling,  and  making  delivery  of  bills  :  concluding, 
cause  proclamation  to  be  made  by  three  Oyez's : 

'  We  do  you  to  wit,  that  the  Lords  Wardens  of 
England  and  Scotland,  and  Scotland  and  England, 
have  at  this  day  of  truce  well  agreed,  conform  to  the 
laudable  custom  of  the  law  of  Marche,  and  have  made 
answer  and  delivery,  foul  or  clean,  of  all  the  bills  in- 
rolled  and  so  the  proclamation  holds  on  according  to 
the  Lords  Wardens'  agreements  and  directions. 

'  Proclamation  made,  and  leave  taken  by  the 
Wardens  in  all  kindly  sort,  they  with  their  com- 
panies depart  and  return  homeward. 

1  The  Lord  Wardens  themselves  had  latterly  to  take  oath  to  do  justice. 

Thus,  Item  4  of  the  indenture  of  1563  runs :  'That  every  Warden,  at 
the  First  Day  of  Trewes,  hereafter  to  be  holden  by  himself,  shall  (in  the 
presence  of  the  opposite  Warden,  and  the  Inhabitants  of  both  the  Marches) 
make  a  solemn  oath,  and  swear  by  the  High  God  that  reigneth  above  all 
Kings  and  Realms,  and  to  whom  all  Christians  owe  obedience ;  That  he 
shall  (in  the  name  of  God)  do,  exercise  and  use  his  office  without  respect  of 
Person,  Malice,  Favour,  or  Affection,  diligently,  or  undelayedly,  according 
to  his  vocation  and  charge  that  he  beareth  under  God  and  his  Prince  ;  and 
shall  do  justice  upon  all  complaints  presented  unto  him,  upon  every  Person 
complained  upon  under  his  Rule,  and  that,  when  any  complaint  is  referred 
unto  him,  to  swear,  fyle,  and  deliver  upon  his  Honour,  he  shall  search, 
enquire  and  redress  the  same  at  his  utmost  power ;  And  that,  if  it  shall 
happen  him  in  so  doing  to  acquit  and  absolve  the  Persons  complained 
upon  as  Clean  and  Innocent ;  yet  if  he  shall  anyways  get  sure  knowledge 
of  the  very  offender  he  shall  declare  him  foul  of  the  offence,  and  make 
lawful  Redeem  and  Delivery  thereof,  albeit  the  very  offender  be  not  named 
in  the  Complaint.  And  this  oath  of  the  Wardens  not  only  to  be  made  at 
the  first  meeting  hereafter  to  ensue,  but  also  to  be  made  every  year  once 
solemnly,  as  aforesaid,  at  the  first  Meeting  after  Midsummer,  to  put  them 
in  the  better  Remembrance  of  their  Duties,  and  to  place  the  Fear  of  God 
in  their  Hearts.' 


Which  done, 

'  The  Warden  of  England  calleth  upon  the  gentle- 
men, demanding  their  opinions  and  good  likings  of 
the  proceedings  and  conference  had  betwixt  him  and 
the  Lord  Warden  of  Scotland  that  day.  Whereunto 
the  gentlemen  give  answer  and  their  opinions,  which 
done,  the  gentlemen  take  their  leave :  the  Warden 
yielding  them  thanks  for  their  attendance  and  readi- 
ness of  service.' 

Fuller  and  more  detailed  instructions  as  to  the 
method  of  procedure  and  punishment  can  be  obtained 
from  the  Border  Laws.  Thus  in  an  indenture  of  1553 
made  between  the  Commissioners  of  the  Queens  of 
England  and  Scotland,  '  it  is  ordered  and  devised  for 
a  more  special  expedition  of  justice  between  the  said 
wardens  of  the  said  East  and  Middle  Marches,  that 
all  attempts  and  complaints  done  within  the  said 
marches,  since  the  acceptation  of  peace,  shall  be 
inrolled  by  the  Warden  of  the  marche  where  the  com- 
plainant doth  inhabit :  and  the  said  rolles  shall  be  sent 
to  the  opposite  warden,  answerable  to  the  same  ;  and 
the  warden  shall  receive  the  said  roll,  and  shall  do  his 
uttermost  power  and  indeavours  to  speire,  search,  and 
enquire  the  truth  and  verity  of  these  attempts,  con- 
tained in  the  said  complaints;  and  to  cause  such 
persons  as  be  there  complained  upon  to  be  arrested  by 
the  serjeant,  to  answer  thereunto,  if  they  be  present. 


'  And  if  they  then  shall  happen  to  be  absent,  then 
they  are  to  be  arrested  :  to  answer  at  the  next  day  of 
Trewes,  where  and  when  the  warden  and  the  assize 
shall  either  fyle  the  said  bills,  or  give  another  lawful 
answer  at  their  next  meeting,  after  the  laws  and 
customs  of  the  marches :  whereof  6  to  be  of  the 
said  warden's  appointment,  and  the  other  6  to  be 
appointed  by  the  said  complainant,  or  such  as  do 
follow  the  bill.' 

And  further,  supposing  that  those  individuals  who 
had  been  '  fyled '  (found  guilty)  by  the  Warden  had 
fled  or  hidden  themselves  so  as  to  avoid  arrest  and 
judgment  at  the  Day  of  Truce,  then — '  no  lawful 
deliverance  or  recompense  '  having  been  made  for  the 
same — '  it  is  agreed,  that  the  wardens  of  both  marches 
(at  the  next  day  of  Trewes  ensuing  or  following  of 
the  fileing  of  the  said  bills)  shall  make  deliverance  of 
such  other  persons,  by  the  arrest  of  the  opposite 
warden  :  as  he  will  undertake  to  be  sufficient  for  the 
said  bill.  The  person  so  delivered  to  remain  with 
the  party  offended,  until  he  be  fully  satisfied,  and 
lawfully  and  fully  redressed,  according  to  justice,  and 
the  laws  of  marche.' 

From  the  various  accounts  of  the  form  of  trial 
given  by  Mr.  Bell  (the  Warden's  clerk),  the  Leges 
Marchiarum,  and  the  Memorandum  on  the  '  mode  of 
holding  a  march  day '  as  given  in  the  Calendar  of 


Border  Papers  in  1585,  it  would  appear  that  the 
Wardens'  method  of  procedure  varied  as  the  years 
went  by. 

There  being  some  confusion  apparent,  it  is  as  well 
to  set  down  here  the  changes  that  appear  to  have 
taken  place. 

Thus  section  1  of  the  indenture  of  1553  permits 
the  Wardens — for  a  more  especial  expedition  of 
justice — to  '  speire,  search,  and  deliver/ 

Section  4  limits  this  '  special  order  before  demised 
for  the  Fyling  and  acquitting  of  bills  upon  the 
honour  of  the  Warden  only  to  such  bills  containing 
offences  as  have  been  committed  since  the  last  peace 
and  these  presents,'  and  is  *  not  to  abrogate  or  alter 
the  old  laws  and  customs  in  fyling  bills  by  the 
Wardens  of  both  realms.' 

A  jury  of  twelve  men — of  whom  six  are  to  be 
nominated  by  the  respondent  Warden,  and  '6  to  be 
nominated  by  the  complainant,  or  such  as  do  follow 
the  bill ' — are  appointed  as  the  Wardens'  assize. 

In  1563,  however,  a  step  further  in  the  direction 
of  a  more  expeditious  method  of  obtaining  justice 
is  taken,  for  therein  the  Wardens  are  bidden  to 
'  speir,  fyle,  and  deliver  upon  their  honour,  to- 
gether with  six  honest  and  famous  men,  adjoined  to 
him  for  the  tryal  thereof  to  be  named  by  the  opposite 



Finally,  in  the  last  of  the  Leges  Marchiarum,  the 
indenture  of  1596,  this  last  step  is  taken,  that  the 
Warden  must  himself  fyle  or  clear  every  bill  sub- 
mitted to  him. 

There  is  here  no  mention  of  the  former  mixed  jury 
of  twelve  of  1553,  or  the  jury  of  six  of  his  own 
Wardenry  of  1563,  so  that  everything  was  now  left 
to  '  the  honour  of  the  Warden.' 

The  section  (5)  dealing  with  this  runs  as  follows  : — 
'  That  the  Wardens  in  fyleing  and  clearing  upon 
their  Honours,  shall  set  down  in  the  margin  of  every 
bill  fyled  and  cleared  by  them  (foul  or  clear,  as  I  am 
verily  persuaded  upon  my  conscience  and  honour), 
and  such  bills  as  they  will  not  fyle  or  clear  within  the 
said  fifteen  days,  by  these  words,  or  such  like  in 
effect,  the  same  being  signified  unto  them  within  the 
foresaid  space  of  forty-eight  hours,  to  be  foul  upon 
themselves  for  their  neglect  of  duty  in  that 

The  confusion  that  resulted,  and  the  difference  in 
procedure  noticeable  in  various  cases,  are  probably 
due  to  the  fact  that  the  indenture  of  1553  specially 
guarded  against  the  altering  or  abrogating  the  '  old 
laws  and  customs  in  fileing  bills  by  the  wardens  of 
both  realms.' 

This  at  least  is  the  only  explanation  that  can  be 



given  of  the  procedure  in  the  case  of  the  bill  of 
Percival  Reed  of  Troughend  in  1590,  when  'at  the 
Belles  Kirk1  on  the  13th  of  April  he  complained 
upon  sundry  Elliots  and  Armstrongs  for  "  an  open 
foray"  at  Troughend  on  Whitmonday  1589,  for 
"  reaving  both  insight  and  outsight  gear,  and  the  kill- 
ing of  2  men," '  which  is  '  alredie  agreed,  fyled,  and 
sworne  by  the  sight  of  4  Englishmen  and  4  Scottes- 
men.'  (Calendar  of  Border  Papers.) 

In  conclusion,  we  give  here  two  instances  from 
Burn  and  Nicholson's  History  of  '  bills  fouled,'  one 
against  England  and  the  other  against  Scotland. 

The  first  is  c  fouled '  against  Liddesdale  by  the  Com- 
missioners of  Berwick  for  lack  of  appearance. 

JUNE  1582 

Mathew  Taylor, 
and  the  poor 
widow  of 
Martin  Taylor, 
complain  upon 

Old  lard  of  Whit- 
augh,  young 
lard  of  Wit- 
haugh,  Sim's 
Thorn,  and  Jock 
of  Copshawe, 

140  kie  &  oxen,  100  sheep, 
20  gate,  and  all  their 
insight,  2001  sterling : 
and  the  slaughter  of 
Martin  Taylor,  John 
Dodshon,  John  Skelloe, 
and  Mathew  Black- 

f  l  '  Lyddesdale.— At  the  Belles  Kirk  the  xiii  of  April  1590  William  Fen- 
wick  gentleman,  deputie  for  the  warden  of  the  Myddle  Marches  of  Eng- 
lande,  and  Thomas  Trotter,  deputie  for  the  Lorde  Bothewell,  keper  of 
Lyddesdale,  principally  mett  for  the  redressinge  of  attempts  on  bothe 


The    second    is    *  fouled '    by   the   Commissioners 
against  the  West  March  of  England. 

Walter  Scott  of 
and  the  tenants 
of  Ett  rick 
house,  complain 

Will  Grame  of  the  Rose- 
trees,  and  Hutchins 
Richie  of  the  Balie, 
with  their  com- 

80  kine  and  oxen, 
40nolt,  160  sheep, 
one  horse. 



Apparently  at  a  Wardens'  meeting  or  Day  of 
Truce  the  Lord  Wardens  were  restricted  by  the 
treaties  and  conventions  between  the  two  kingdoms, 
for  '  the  laws  of  the  Marches,'  writes  Sir  B.  Bowes, 
'  be  grounded  and  taken  furthe  of  the  articles  and 
convencions  of  the  last  treatie  of  peace  passed 
betwene  the  realnies  and  other  remedye  or  redresse 
is  there  none  for  either  partie  against  the  other,  but 
according  to  the  said  convencions  and  treatye,  where- 
fore in  some  cases  a  person  of  eyther  realme  having 
both  hurt  and  wrong  can  have  no  remedie  because 
the  case  is  not  provyded  for  in  the  treatye  as  shall 
appear  hereafter.' 


We  may  add  in  this  connection  Sir  B.  Bowes's 
further  remarks  upon  the  difficulty  of  obtaining 
justice  at  a  Day  of  Truce,  premising  this,  however, 
that  the  Scottish  Warden  would  probably  have  said 
the  same  of  the  Englishmen  opposite. 

'And  yet  nevertheless  because  Justice  can  never 
perfectlye  be  had  of  the  Scottes,  in  some  case  for  lacke 
of  dewe  obedience  of  the  subjects,  and  in  other  cases 
because  of  maintennance  that  gentlemen  beare  unto  the 
thieves  and  misdoers,  and  also  by  occasion  of  perjurye 
of  the  Borderers,  myne  opinion  is  that  yt  ys  the  best 
waye  to  doe  them  semblable  Justice  for  England,  as 
the  Warden  of  Scotland  or  his  deputy  can  or  may 
obtaine  at  their  hands  and  no  further  or  otherwayes, 
and  so  shall  they  best  be  brought  to  Justice  and 
otherwayes  the  Scottes  wilbe  greate  complayners  and 
exclamers  for  Justice,  and  of  there  owne  parte, 
execute  or  doe  little  or  none,  but  take  advantage 
of  all  delaies,  evasions,  and  subterfuges  that  may 
be  profitable  to  that  realme  either  trewe  men  or 

Apart  from  these  restrictions  and  prejudices,  how- 
ever, the  weakest  point  in  the  procedures  dealt  with 
in  the  last  chapter  lay  in  the  fact  that  if  the 
Warden  would  not  '  fyle  upon  his  honour' — from 
whatsoever  cause  —  and  no  '  avower '  would  come 

1  Richardson,  Reprints  of  Rare  Tracts,  vol.  iv.  p.  23. 


forward,  the  defendant  would  go  free.  The  'notori- 
etas  facti'  might  make  no  appeal  to  unwilling 
ears,  and  there  is  no  means  of  coercing  a  Warden 
save  by  referring  the  matter  to  the  King  or 

The  sixteenth-century  paper  distinctly  asserts  this 
in  the  following  words  : — '  Except  the  Warden  himself 
knowing  shall  acknowledge  the  fact,  or  a  man  of  the 
same  nation  found  that  voluntarily  will  avouche  it 
(the  ordinarie  and  only  waies  of  trial),  be  the  facte 
never  so  patent,  the  delinquent  is  quit  by  the  laws 
of  the  Border.' 

But,  naturally,  if  the  Warden  would  not  '  confess 
the  fact'  it  would  be  difficult  to  procure  an  avower, 
for  the  avower  might  easily  incur  the  displeasure  of 
his  Warden  and  his  own  countrymen.2 

1  In  the  mode  of  holding  a  March  Day,  1585  (Calendar  of  Border  Papers, 
vol.  i.  p.  194),  it  is  said  that  '  the  manner  of  triall  of  ane  person  is  two- 
folde,  viz.  (1)  when  the  Warden  shall,  upon  his  owne  knowledge  [ex 
notorietate*  facti,  as  it  is  elsewhere  written],  confesse  the  facte,  and  so 
deliver  the  partie  offending.'  If  he,  however,  refused  to  'confesse  the 
facte,'  and  so  '  deliver  upon  his  honour,'  there  was  (2)  a  second  way  of  trial, 
'  which  was  by  confronting  a  man  of  the  same  nation  to  averre  the  fact.' 
This  individual  would  correspond  evidently  with  the  'vower  publique' 
of  Mr.  Bell's  manuscript  mentioned  above ;  but  there  is  no  mention  of 
the  third  way  of  trial  given  by  Mr.  Bell,  of  a  jury  half  Scots,  half 

[*  One  of  the  charges  against  Sir  John  Forster  was  '  that  he  hath  frus- 
trated the  English  subjectes  of  redresse,  demaunding  vower  for  knowen 
murtheres  and  day  forrayes,  and  spoyles  of  whole  townshipes,  which  by  the 
customes  of  the  Borders  doe  avow  themselves.'  (Calendar  of  Border  Papers, 
vol.  i  p.  233.)] 

2  The  following  incident,  taken  from  letters  of  Sir  John  Carey  and  Wm. 
Selby  to  Burghley  in  1596,  will  sufficiently  prove  this.  A  Commission 


Again,  there  was  this  further  possibility  of  trouble 
for  an  '  avower,'  that  he  might  be  '  backbilled ' 
against.  '  Backbilling '  against  an  avower  is  dealt 
with  in  1596,  and  confirms  what  was  said  above 
as  to  the  difficulty  of  carrying  out  this  method  of 
rendering  justice. 

Sections  17  and  18  of  the  last  of  the  Border  Laws — 
the  indenture  of  1596 — deal  with  this  possibility  of 
'  backbilling '  or  bringing  a  charge  against  such  a 

'  Yf  any  man  unjustly  trouble  or  offend  another 
in  word  or  deed,  any  time  hereafter,  for  fyling 

was  sitting  in  Berwick  at  this  time,  and  Ralph  Selby,  nephew  to  Sir  John 
Selby,  gentleman  porter,  had  been  '  deposed  by  the  Commissioners  whether 
one  George  Nevill,  servant  to  the  Ladie  Gray,  and  Mr.  Ralph  Gray,  had  stolen 
certain  e  cattle  from  Mr.  Walter  Carre  of  Littleden,  a  Scottish  gentleman.' 
Nevell,  then,  was  '  filed '  (found  guilty),  and  in  revenge  filed  a  bill  brought  in 
against  Ralph  Selby,  who, '  knowing  himself  clear,  denied  it,  and  an  English 
vower  was  called  on  according  to  custom.  One  Mr.  George  Nevell,  a  tenant 
to  Mr.  Ralph  Grey  and  a  servant  to  my  Lady  Grey,  vowed  this  bill  against 
Mr.  Selby,  who  was  filed.  Thereon  hot  words  passed  between  Selby  and 
Nevell,  and  Mr.  Grey  being  by,  hearing  the  gentleman  ill  spoken  to,  defended 
his  cause  somewhat,  whereon  some  hard  words  grew  between  Mr.  Selby 
and  Mr.  Grey,  which  being  in  the  open  court  was  qualified  by  the  officers 
in  time. 

'  But  the  Selbys,  as  I  understand,  sent  a  challenge  that  night  to  Mr.  Ralph 
Grey  and  his  brother  Edward,  to  meet  with  the  gentleman  porter  and  his 
nephew.  It  was  not  in  writing,  and  the  Greys  refused.  But  this  morning 
Mr.  Ralph  Selby  sent  a  new  challenge  to  Mr.  Edward  Grey  himself, 
whereon  the  latter  sent  a  man  to  the  gentleman  porter's  lodging,  desir- 
ing him  to  meet  in  the  churchyard,  where  they  might  debate  and 
confer  friendly  on  that  matter.  They  met,  but  their  kindness  fell  to 
such  unkindness,  as  they  fell  together  by  the  ears.  The  gentleman  porter 
and  Mr.  Edward  Grey  are  both  hurt,  a  very  honest  gentleman  of  Mr. 
Ralph  Grey's  killed,  and  4  or  5  of  either  side  very  ill  hurt.'  (Calendar  of 
Border  Papers.) 


any  bill  hereafter  against  him,  he  shall  never  be 
heard  to  backbill  against  the  Avower ;  and  never- 
theless shall  be  punished  therefore  by  the  discre- 
tion of  the  Warden,  according  to  the  quality  of  the 

'  For  eschewing  of  fraudulent  drift  and  delay  used 
in  backbilling,  of  purpose  to  disappoint  the  avower  of 
his  proofs  which  he  hath  or  may  have  presently  to 
verify  his  word.  It  is  ordained,  That  whosoever  shall 
backbill  against  any  Avower,  shall  do  it  against  or 
within  40  days  after  the  filing,  or  else  to  be  excluded 
from  the  remedy  for  ever ;  and,  to  that  effect,  every 
warden  shall  be  bound  to  hold  warden  courts,  and  to 
do  justice  within  20  days  after  he  shall  be  required 
by  the  party,  under  the  pain  of  paying  the  bill 

As  a  Scot  was  not  permitted  to  bear  witness 
against  an  Englishman,  nor  vice  versa,  the  outlook 
for  a  prosecutor  must  often  have  proved  black  and 
the  method  of  avowry  a  feeble  reed  to  trust  in, 
though  possibly  he  might  procure  an  '  avower '  by 
availing  himself  of  the  licence  allowed  by  the  in- 
denture of  1460  in  Edward  iv.'s  reign,  whereby  the 
injured  party  might — without  any  safe-conduct — 
within  six  days  of  an  assault  or  injury,  in  the  endeavour 
to  right  himself  enter  into  the  opposite  march  and 
make  his  complaint  and  losses  known  unto  some 


inhabitant  there  of  good  fame  and  unsullied  repute,  or 
else  unto  the  Warden  himself. 

The  latter-day  Borderer  must  have  sometimes 
sighed  for  the  ancient  '  duellum '  upon  the  march 
allowed  by  the  first  of  all  the  Border  Laws,  when  he 
found  his  oath  of  no  avail,  the  opposite  Warden 
refusing  to  '  fyle,'  and  no  avower  forthcoming. 

The  powerful  chieftain,  '  the  strong  man  armed,' 
could  take  good  care  of  himself,  but  the  poor  man — 
the  '  Jimmy  Telfer  of  the  fair  Dodhead ' — had  often  a 
hard  task  to  win  his  own  good  kye  back  again,  and 
usually  he  would  be  driven  to  pay  '  blackmail ' — pro- 
tection money — even  though  it  was  forbidden  by  the 
Laws  of  March,  in  order  to  ensure  protection  or  at 
least  a  measure  of  revenge  when  his  '  gear '  had  been 

Even  when  the  Warden,  anxiously  endeavouring  to 
do  justice,  fyled  bills  '  upon  his  honour/  there  was 
still  the  difficulty  of  capturing  his  felons  and  handing 
them  over  to  the  opposite  Warden. 

If  they  had  hidden  themselves,  or  fled,  the  Warden 
was  in  a  very  uncomfortable  position,  for  he  might  be 
taxed  with  equivocation  or  worse,  as  Sir  John  Forster 
was  by  Carmichael  at  their  meeting  on  the  Keidswire 
in  1575.  Again,  sometimes  he  might  have  to 
surrender  his  own  servant  as  a  pledge,  as  was  pointed 
out  in  Chapter  v.,  to  be  handed  over  to  the  offended 


party  till  the  guilty  person  could  be  found  and 
delivered  over  in  his  stead  or  else  due  reparation 
made  by  money  payment.  Thus  in  1596  Buccleugh, 
Keeper  of  Liddesdale,  surrendered  himself  in  default 
of  his  pledges  to  the  English  Commissioners  at 

The  greatest  difficulty  of  all  in  the  obtaining  of 
justice,  however,  lay  in  arranging  the  meeting  of  the 

Continually  one  reads  of  one  or  other  Warden 
'  making  shot '  or  '  shotting '  the  suggested  meet- 
ing: usually  the  reason  was  unwillingness  to  meet 
his  opposite  because  of  the  heavy  list  of '  attempts ' 
he  would  have  to  answer,  but  sometimes,  of  course, 
the  meetings  were  deferred  ('  shot ')  owing  to  illness 
or  a  summons  from  the  King  or  Privy  Council.  Once 
1  shot '  the  meeting  was  very  difficult  to  bring  on 
again,  and  one  reads  of  Liddesdale  not  being  brought 
to  justice  for  years,  as  no  one  was  responsible,  or  at 
least  none  would  admit  responsibility,  for  so  fierce  a 



'  Now,  Douglas,'  quoth  Erie  Percy  then, 
'  Thy  proffer  I  doe  scorne  ; 
I  will  not  yielde  to  any  Scott 
That  ever  yet  was  borne.' 


As  representing  the  sovereigns  of  their  respective 
countries,  the  Wardens  were  often  as  punctilious  as 
accredited  ambassadors  in  regard  to  procedure  and 
precedence.  It  seems,  however,  that  the  practice  as 
set  forth  by  Mr.  Richard  Bell,  the  clerk  of  the  west 
Wardenry,  had  come  to  be  regarded  as  fixed,  viz. 
that  the  English  Warden  should  send  a  messenger 
into  Scotland  at  a  day  of  diet  or  Warden's  meeting  to 
'  crave  assurance '  from  the  Scots  Warden  for  his  entry 
without  the  formality  of  meeting  upon  the  actual 
march  line.  This  given,  the  English  Warden  would 
advance  into  Scotland  with  his  chief  gentlemen  and 
officers,  and  there  was  received  by  the  opposite  Warden. 

Thus  the  Lord  Dacre,  Warden  of  the  West  March, 
writes  to  the  Privy  Council  concerning  the  meeting 
with  the  Scots  Warden  at  Lochmabenstone  (be- 
side Solway,  near  Gretna  Green)  in  1550.  'And 
whereas  it  hath  been  used  in  times  past,  that  the 
said  assurance  was  asked  and  granted  on  both  parts, 


before  the  Lord  Warden  of  England  passed  over  the 
water,  I  thought  it  meet  now  for  the  better  mainten- 
ance of  the  king's  title  and  interest  of  the  debatable 
land  to  go  over  the  same  water  into  the  same  de- 
batable, before  we  either  demanded  or  granted  any 
assurance ;  where  the  same  was  accomplished  accord- 
ingly and  so  proceeded  to  the  place  prefixed.' 

But  Sir  Robert  Carey,  young,  energetic,  and  deter- 
mined to  uphold  his  Queen's  rights  to  check  the 
Scots'  pride,  refused  to  follow  this  practice  when 
Warden  of  the  Middle  March,  and  insisted  upon  re- 
turning to  the  more  ancient  method  of  first  meeting 
with  the  Scots  Warden  in  mid-stream  (when  the 
march  was  the  river  Tweed),  and  only  after  that 
passing  over  into  Scotland. 

He  thus  writes  to  Cecil  in  1598  :— 

'  On  the  12th  inst.  [September]  there  was  a  meet- 
ing appointed  betwixt  Sir  Robert  Ker  and  myself  at 
Fyerburn  mill  hard  by  Warke  Castle  :  when  we  both 
came  to  the  place,  but  met  not,  by  reason  he  would 
have  had  me  come  over  the  water  into  Scotland, 
which  I  refused,  except  he  would  meet  me  in  the 
"  myd-streamt."  So  we  broke  off,  appointing  a  new 
meeting  on  the  19th  hereof  at  the  Cocklaw,  which 
is  a  dry  march.  There  also  we  differed,  for  he  would 
have  me  come  into  Scotland,  which  I  refused  unless 
he  would  come  to  the  very  march  to  fetch  me :  so 


that  there  was  no  likelihood  of  our  meeting  at  that 
time  likewise.  My  reason  for  standing  more  strictly 
on  these  points  was  certain  proud  words  uttered  by 
certain  Scots  gentlemen  that  he  sent  over  to  me 
to  take  assurance — which  were  as  follows:  "That 
England  dyd  owe  that  duty  and  obedyence  to  Scot- 
land to  come  over  into  Scotland  to  them  at  all  meet- 
ings upon  the  Border  " — to  which  I  took  exception, 
telling  them  I  would  not  refuse  to  do  as  other 
Wardens  did  before  me,  viz.,  to  meet  always  at  the 
March,  and  so  go  over  into  Scotland  and  end  our 
business  there. 

'  But  I  utterly  refused  to  enter  and  acknow- 
ledge any  duty  or  obedience  to  Scotland,  and  said  I 
would  inform  the  Queen  my  mistress  of  their  un- 
seemly words,  and  if  it  were  her  pleasure  to  yield,  I 
would  obey  her  commands.  Wherefor  I  pray  you  to 
acquaint  her  Majesty  and  signify  her  pleasure  against 
our  next  meeting.'  (Calendar  of  Border  Papers.) 

Again,  in  October  of  the  same  year  Sir  Robert 
Carey  writes  further  on  this  point  to  Cecil : — 

*  By  your  letter  of  29th  Sept.  received  the  4th 
inst.  "  late  in  the  night "  I  understand  her  majesty's 
pleasure  to  be  informed  "by  whome,  from  whome, 
and  in  what  manner,  these  words  of  obedyence  and 
duty  were  spoken  ? " 

'  This  was   as  follows :   After  I  had  sent  to  the 


Warden  for  assurance,  and  that  as  accustomed  I 
would  meet  him  at  the  March  (which  in  that  place 
was  in  the  myddes  of  the  water),  and  then  with  him 
enter  Scotland,  he  sent  word  by  4  of  his  company 
that  I  was  to  come  over  the  water  to  the  dry  land 
of  Scotland  and  he  would  there  receive  me. 

*  Some  dispute  arising  between  me  and  them,  at 
last  one  of  them,  John  Ker  of  Corbet  house,  sayd  of 
himself,  not  from  Sir  Robert  Ker,  and  he  spoke  yt  to 
me,   that   yt   was   an  obedience   England   ought  to 
Scotland,  ever  seynce  a  warden  of  their's  was  slain 
at  a  day  of  trew  by  us,  one  of  Sir  Robert  Ker  his 
ancestors :    and   at   that   instant,   another    of  them 
called  Andrew  Ker  of  Rocksbrough,  sayd  to  Roger 
Woodryngton,   Sandy   Fenwyck   and   others   of  my 
companye,   that   seynce   that   time   we   have   ought 
them  that  dutye.      This  was  the  manner   of  their 
uttering  and  it  made  me  more  "  kuryous "  to  yield. 
I  have  made  inquiry  of  the  best  and  oldest  borderers 
as  to  the  manner  of  the  Wardens'  meeting,  and  they 
concur  that  we  are  to  go  into  Scotland,  and  end  our 
causes  of  meeting  there. 

*  But  the  manner  of  our  meeting  ys  the  thing  in 
questyon  :  it  ys  for  certen  that  Sir  Wylliam  Drurye, 
when  he  was  Warden  of  the  East  Marche,  never  met 
but  in  the  myd  streame  :  and  after  meeting  there  he 
went  into  Scotland. 


'  The  gentleman  Porter  dyd  avow  these  before  the 
Scotes  that  he  had  scene  his  brother  meete  in  the 
myd  streame  with  Sir  Robert  Ker's  father :  and  so 
dyd  a  sonn  of  Sir  John  Selbye's  lykewyse  affyrme. 
Dyvers  gentlemen  of  the  Myddle  Marche  dyd  there 
avowe  that  they  had  scene  Sir  John  Forster  do  the 

'  The  Scotes  wold  allow  none  of  this,  but  brought  in 
proofes  of  latter  tyme  how  that  Sir  John  Selby,  Sir 
John  Forster  and  my  Lord  Eure,  in  their  tymes  dyd 
continually  comme  into  Scotland  a  good  peece  before 
they  weare  mett  with  the  wardens  of  Scotland  : 
which  I  think  to  be  trew,  for  the  2  Sir  Johns  being 
growne  old  men  and  loving  their  ease  and  quyet, 
knowing  that  they  were  to  go  into  Scotland,  of  latter 
years  respected  not  the  meeting  at  the  Marche,  but 
went  over  into  Scotland  to  them :  and  my  Lord  Eure 
after  their  example  dyd  the  lyke. 

'And  the  Scots  are  so  good  natured,  that  yf  we 
give  them  an  inche  they  wyll  take  an  ell !  and 
would  have  us  follow  the  later  customs.  But  as  the 
ancient  Borderers  think  the  first  meeting  should  be 
the  very  march  and  the  business  determined  in  Scot- 
land, I  see  no  reason  to  yield  more  than  is  due :  yet 
if  her  majesty's  pleasure  be  that  I  go  over  before  we 
meet,  I  will  obey,  having  discharged  my  duty.' 

Finally,  in  a  letter — four  days  later  in  date — from 


Sir  William  Bowes  to  Cecil  it  is  written :  '  An 
auncient  gentleman  folower  of  Sir  Robert  Bowes, 
telleth  me  that  he  carried  a  great  meetinge  thus  : 
both  parties  beinge  drawne  neare  the  Marche  lyne, 
Sir  Robert  stepped  forward  unto  the  Scottish  syde 
audiblie  speakinge  these  wordes — "/  will  loose  the 
kinge  my  master  no  grounde"  clearly  coveringe  the 
necessitie  of  his  entry  hereby.' 

He  then  proceeds  to  set  forth  '  the  ground  of  so 
yielding.'  '  It  is  held  by  tradition  on  the  Borders/ 
he  writes,  'that  when  a  war  between  the  realms 
ended,  the  Scots  must  first  demand  peace.  During 
peace,  at  ordinary  meetings,  the  English  must  first 
ask  assurance. 

'Your  honour  may  learn  better  on  this  from  the 
heralds  than  on  report  of  tradition.'  Another  ground 
is  imputed  to  the  slaughter  of  Sir  Robert  Ker,  great- 
grandfather to  this  Cessford,  slain  within  English 
ground  by  one  Starrhead,  servant  to  Sir  William 
Heron,  the  English  Warden,  who,  though  not  present 
that  day,  was  delivered  into  Scotland  by  '  that  noble 
and  just  Prince  King  Henry  vu.,  yet  they  say  the 
Scots  swore  they  would  never  after  come  on  English 
ground  for  justice,  and  by  the  King's  sufferance  this 
course  has  grown.' 

A  third  traditional  reason  he  also  gives,  which  is 
that  formerly  the  English  and  Scots  princes  were 


used  to  meet  on  occasions  of  '  interpelance '  and 
treaty  near  to  a  privileged  monastery  beside  Lady 
Kirk  which  was  originally  built  upon  '  Debateable 
grounde.'  This  ground,  however,  is  now  within 
reputed  Scottish  territory,  but  the  old  custom  still 

As  to  the  best  course  to  be  pursued,  'his  opinion 
is  that  if  no  treaty  or  record  is  found  to  bind  her 
majesty,  I  see  not  why  common  errors  should  pre- 
judice her  rights  or  safety  of  her  people :  especially 
when  weighty  occasions  press  for  reform — as  in  these 
vain  words  repeated  by  Sir  Robert  Carey,  "too 
bigge  for  any  Scottish  mowth,"  or  in  the  treacherous 
tumults  and  slaughters  at  the  Readswyre,  Cocklaw, 
Westfourde  and  the  like,  chiefly  as  the  custom  forces 
her  officers  and  people  to  take  Scottish  trust :  which 
I  would  reform  by  first  fixing  the  very  line  dividing 
the  2  realms :  and  then  one  realm  at  one  time,  and 
the  other  at  the  next,  may  in  turn  demand  as- 
surance, and  keep  their  sessions  of  justice  inter- 

There  are  also  letters  to  Cecil  this  same  month 
from  Sir  John  Forster  and  William  Selby  on  the 
subject  of  march  meetings,  but  nothing  definite 
seems  to  have  been  arranged,  and  the  more  recent 
method  seems  to  have  been  adhered  to  during  the 
next  five  years — up  to  the  time  of  the  accession  of 



James  vi.  and  i. — whereby  the  less  important  meet- 
ings were  held  on  Scottish  ground,  while  the  more 
important  discussions  were  carried  on  at  Berwick  or 


'  Quis  custodiet  ipsos  custodes  ? ' 

The  rules  of  the  game  were,  as  we  have  already 
seen,  drawn  up  by  the  Commissioners  of  either  king- 
dom, and  added  to  by  the  Wardens ;  but  with  such 
keen  players  as  the  Border  chiefs  and  their  followers 
there  was  a  good  deal  of  '  offside '  in  the  playing,  and 
any  dispute  that  might  arise  was  joyfully  welcomed 
by  the  more  turbulent  as  a  means  of  deferring  the 
inconvenience  of  a  trial  and  possible  '  hanging/  or 
again  as  an  opportunity  to  avenge  an  injury  or  feud. 
Thus  at  the  '  day  of  trews '  at  Hexpethgate  on 
Windy  Gyle,  in  August  1585,  when  Sir  John 
Forster,  the  English  Warden  of  the  Middle  March, 
met  Ferniehirst,  the  Scots  Warden,  the  occasion  was 
used  by  Sir  Thomas  Ker  (of  Ferniehirst),  the  Scots 
Warden,  to  kill  Forster's  son-in-law,  Lord  Francis 
Russell,  who  had  sent  up  to  the  Lord  President 
of  the  Privy  Council  some  intercepted  letters  of 
Ferniehirst's  and  Arran's. 

Now  Ferniehirst  was  a  great  supporter  of  Mary 


Queen  of  Scots,  and  a  great  plotter  on  her  behalf,  so 
that  the  defence  he  put  forward  afterwards,  that  '  one 
Wanless  ane  English  boy  dyd  breake  the  said  assur- 
ance by  stealing  a  paire  of  spurs,  and  that  his  friends 
dyd  hurte  a  Scots  man/  seems  quite  untrue  in  face  of 
Forster's  statement,  that  Sir  Thomas  Ker  '  came  not 
only  with  the  force  of  his  own  marche,  but  brought  a 
company  of  the  Merse,  which  neither  he  nor  his  prede- 
cessors ever  did  before — and  with  ensigns,  pensells, 
and  drums  in  warlike  manner,  attacked  us  while 
sitting  quietly  calling  our  bills,  and.  gave  their  full 
charge  upon  us,  when  Lord  Russell  was  slain,  and  the 
whole  field  broken  and  disordered.' 

Forster  had  '  offered  the  boy  to  be  delyvered  to  be 
hanged,  and  all  things  was  pacified  and  done/  and 
the  real  cause  of  the  breaking  of  the  assurance  was 
the  interception  of  '  certain  writings  beinge  in  ciphers 
forth  of  the  purse  of  the  berer  thereof  cominge  from 

Forster  in  his  despatch  to  Walsingham  says 
further,  '  What  yt  was  I  knowe  not,  but  I  think  yt 
came  from  Arraine  and  Pharnihyrste  ;  but  howsoever 
yt  came,  I  know  that  Pharnihyrste  was  in  a  great 
greife  with  him  for  yt,  which  I  thinke  hath  beine  a 
greate  occacion  of  the  ere  well  murder  upon  him,  and 
I  hope  that  yt  will  manifestlie  fall  owte  that  the 
Karis  [Kers],  which  are  the  nearest  kinsemen  to  him 


in  all  Scotlande,  are  the  killers  of  him,  so  that  yt 
appeareth  that  yt  is  a  pretended  matter  before 
devised  by  Arraine  and  Pharnihyrste.' 

A  cairn  ('  slain  man's  cairn ')  was  raised  on  Windy 
Gyle,  and  may  still  be  seen  there  to  this  day, 
which  marks  the  spot  where  Lord  William  met  his 

Ker,  who  is  said  to  have  been  able  to  raise  three 
thousand  men  within  his  own  march,  died  the  year 
after,  and  Sir  John  Forster,  reporting  the  occur- 
rence to  Walsingham,  concludes  as  follows : — 
'  Whereof  I  am  sorry  that  he  and  some  betters  had 
not  beine  hanged.' 

The  breaking  of  the  assurance  in  this  instance, 
then,  was  due  to  a  private  grudge  of  the  Warden's, 
accentuated  by  political  animosity,  and  in  the  cele- 
brated fight  on  the  Beidswire  it  was  the  pride l  of  the 
English  Warden  that  provoked  the  encounter.  The 
place  of  meeting  was  on  the  Border,  somewhat  east 
of  Carter  Fell  in  the  Middle  March,  the  year  1575, 
the  Scots  Deputy- War  den,  Sir  John  Carmichael,  and 
the  English  Warden,  Sir  John  Forster. 

The  Court  had  been  called,  and  cases  were  being 

1  The  Warden  of  the  East  March,  Lord  Hunsdon,  was  evidently 
animated  by  the  like  sentiment,  for  he  writes  thus  concerning  the  occur- 
rence :  '  The  names  of  the  takers  of  Sir  John  Forster,  and  the  rest  given 
in  were  a  set  of  beggarly  harlotts  and  sheep-stealers  not  worth  the 


heard  and  wrongs  redressed,  when  an  Englishman 
(Farnstein),  a  notorious  offender,  was  demanded  by 
the  Scots  Warden  to  be  delivered  up,  according  to 
March  Law,  to  be  the  prisoner  of  the  owner  of  the 
goods  stolen  until  such  tune  as  satisfaction  should  be 
given  for  them. 

Farnstein  had  been  'fouled'  on  the  bill,  but  on 
Forster's  not  delivering  him  up  Carmichael  expostu- 
lated, and  Forster  replied  with  evident  resentment. 
This  was  at  once  noted  by  his  followers,  who  backed 
him  by  letting  off  a  flight  of  arrows. 

The  Border  minstrel  in  the  well-known  ballad  thus 
describes  the  sudden  outbreak  : — 

'  Carmichael  bade  them  speik  out  plainlie, 

And  cloke  no  cause  for  ill  nor  good : 
The  other,  answering  him  as  vainlie, 

Began  to  reckon  kin  and  blood ; 
He  raise,  and  raxed  him  where  he  stood, 

And  bade  him  match  him  with  his  marrows : 
Then  Tindaill  heard  them  reason  rude, 

And  they  loot  off  a  flight  of  arrows. 

Then  was  there  nought  but  bow  and  speir, 

And  every  man  pull'd  out  a  brand ; 
A  Schafton  and  a  Fenwick  thare : 

Gude  Symington  was  slain  frae  hand. 
The  Scotsmen  cried  on  other  to  stand, 

Frae  time  they  saw  John  Robson  slain — 
What  should  they  cry  1    The  King's  command 

Could  cause  no  cowards  turn  again.' 


Again,  one  of  the  latest  and  probably  the  most 
daring  and  celebrated  Border  exploit  of  all  was  con- 
cerned with  the  violation  of  the  assurance  given  at  a 
'  day  of  trews/  This  resulted  in  the  famous  breaking 
into  and  taking  out  of  Carlisle  Castle  in  1596  of 
'  Kinmont  Will '  by  the  Lord  of  Buccleugh. 

A  Wardens'  meeting  had  been  arranged  at  '  the 
Dayholme  of  Kershope'  for  the  Western  March  of 
England  by  Lord  Scrope,  and  for  Liddesdale  by  Sir 
William  Scott,  the  Laird  of  Buccleugh,  the  Keeper, 
who  had  been  raised  to  the  footing  of  a  Warden  by 
King  James. 

The  business  had  been  concluded,  and  the  various 
parties  departed  amicably,  in  full  assurance  of  the 
truce,  when  sundry  of  the  English  as  they  rode  by 
the  bank  of  the  Liddel  noted  'Kinmont  Will,'  an 
Armstrong  against  whom  they  had  many  an  old 
complaint,  '  riding  on  his  ways  with  only  three  or 
four  in  companie  '  along  the  opposite  bank. 

This  was  an  opportunity  not  to  be  missed — '  the 
chance  of  a  lifetime ' — and  forthwith  '  they  brake  a 
chase  of  more  than  200  men  out  of  the  English 
trayne,  chases  the  said  Win.  of  Kininmouth  more 
than  3  or  4  myles,  come  to  him,  and  take  him 
prisoner,  bring  him  back  to  the  deputie,  thinking  to 
doe  good  service  by  the  seizing  of  such  an  offender,' 
and  carried  him  away  captive  to  Carlisle.  Whereat 


Buccleugh,  a  proud  and  fierce  young  man — himself, 
as  the  Commissioners  reported  to  Burghley, '  flagellum 
Dei  to  his  miserably  distressed  and  oppressed  neigh- 
bours'— was  highly  indignant,  and,  finding  himself 
unable  to  get  redress  from  the  opposite  Warden,  took 
the  law  into  his  own  hand,  and  headed  a  Warden's 
raid  into  England  to  deliver  '  Kinmont  Will '  from 
Carlisle  Castle. 

The  famous  ballad  tells  how  the  release  was 
effected,  and  concludes  with  a  vivid  picture  of  Lord 
Scrope,  the  English  Warden,  standing  in  astonish- 
ment by  the  river  side  watching  the  Scots  *  riding ' 
the  flooded  Eden  on  their  triumphal  return  to 


'  All  sore  astonish'd  stood  Lord  Scrope, 

He  stood  as  still  as  rock  of  stane ; 
He  scarcely  dared  to  trew  his  eyes, 

When  through  the  waters  they  had  gane. 

He  is  either  himsel'  a  devil  frae  hell, 
Or  else  his  mother  a  witch  maun  be ; 

I  wadna  have  ridden  that  wan  water 
For  a'  the  gowd  in  Christentie.' 

Queen  Elizabeth,  as  every  one  will  remember,  was 
so  highly  enraged  at  this  attack  upon  her  castle  that 
eventually  King  James  acceded  to  her  demand,  and 
reserved  the  treatment  of  Buccleugh  and  Cessford 1 — 

1  This  was  Sir  R  Ker  of  Cessford,  Warden  of  the  Middle  March,  and 
Buccleugh's  brother-in-law. 


'the  two  firebrands   of   the  March' — to   her  single 

Eventually  Buccleugh,  in  default  of  his  pledges, 
delivered  himself  up  to  Sir  William  Selby,  Master  of 
the  Ordnance  of  Berwick,  and  Cessford  later  on 
entered  into  ward  with  Sir  Robert  Carey,  Deputy- 
Warden  of  the  East  March,  notwithstanding  former 
quarrels.  '  Such  traits,'  as  Sir  Walter  Scott  points 
out,  'illumine  the  dark  period  of  which  we  treat.' 

Yet  this  final  agreement  had  only  been  brought  off 
after  much  negotiation — long  protracted — and  many 
perils  skilfully  avoided. 

Even  at  the  meeting  of  the  Commissioners  to 
exchange  the  pledges  at  the  west  ford  of  Norham 
after  Buccleugh  had  given  himself  up,  'one  that 
Sessford  had  appoynted,  shotte  of  a  pistoll,  and 
witheall  the  same  man  that  shott  the  pistoll  laye 
downen  alonge  uppon  his  horse  redey  to  fall  of,  and 
creyed  "  Slay  en,  slayen  "  ;  with  that  another  creyed, 
"  Tresun,  tresun  " :  whereuppon  the  fraye  began,  and 
all  ouer  sogers  on  the  fare  seyd  of  the  water  shott  to 
or  3  voley  of  shott,  but  it  was  so  darke,  and  they  so 
fare  of  as  I  thinke  they  did  littyl  harme ' — so  writes 
John  Carey  to  Burghley  of  Cessford's  '  strategem,' 
which  might  have  resulted  in  slaughter,  had  it  not 
been  for  the  readiness  of  Lord  Home,  who  commanded 
a  large  body  of  horsemen  present  there. 


Enough,  however,  has  been  said  to  show  the 
extreme  difficulty  in  attaining  justice,  for  when  the 
Wardens  themselves  broke  the  laws  of  the  marches 
why  should  an  inferior  not  follow  their  example "? 

'  Quis  custodiet  ipsos  custodes  1 ' 




'  He  knew  each  ordinance  and  clause 
Of  Black  Lord  Archibald's  battle  laws 
In  the  old  Douglas'  day.' 

SCOTT,  Lay  of  the  Last  Minstrd. 

THE  English  Warden  within  his  own  march  was  like 
a  king  of  Israel  during  the  absence  of  Elijah.  He 
had  an  absolute  free  hand  in  the  sphere  of  *  March 
Treason/  for  he  could  practically  himself  determine 
what  was  March  Treason  and  what  not. 

Thus  Sir  John  Forster,  replying  to  certain  '  charges 
exhibited'  against  him,  cheerfully  accepts  that  one 
which  states  '  that  he  hathe  caused  diverse  persons 
to  be  indited  arraigned  and  condempned  in  his  owne 
dwelling  house,  and  thereupon  put  to  execution  and 
theire  lives  taken  from  theme,  not  proclaiminge  or 
callinge  a  warden  courte,  accordinge  to  the  lawe  or 
custome  of  the  Borders.' 

'  He  sayeth  he  hath  doon  as  is  mencioned,  and 
dothe  avowe  yt  to  be  laweful  by  vertue  of  his  commis- 
sion, to  be  doon  in  any  place  within  the  wardenrie.' 


Lord  Hunsdon  was  of  a  like  way  of  thinking,  and  'more 
given  to  hanging  than  either  hunting  or  hawking.' 

The  English  Warden,  then,  had  power  of  life  and 
death  as  he  sat  in  his  Court  with  his  jury  trying 
cases  of  March  Treason,  but  he  was  not  supposed  to 
do  the  ordinary  civil  and  criminal  work  of  the  judges 
at  the  Assize  and  general  gaol  delivery,  though  he 
seems  to  have  apprehended  thieves  and  malefactors 
and  sent  them  to  the  Assizes1  for  their  'justification.' 
The  '  use  of  March/  probably,  would  cover  certain 
irregularities  in  so  rough  a  district,  and  a  man  taken 
stealing  *  red-handed,'  or  '  in  the  manner,'  as  the 
phrase  ran,  would  pay  the  penalty  of  death  at  the 
hands  either  of  the  sufferer  or  the  Warden  without 
any  trial  at  all.  The  difficulty  of  obtaining  justice  by 
proper  legal  method  may  be  illustrated  by  the  follow- 
ing episode : — 

The  Lord  Dacre  in  1518  '  having  arrested  10  of  the 
principal  thieves  of  Redesdale,  and  having  put  them 
in  irons  within  the  dungeon  of  Harbottle  Castle,  sent 
for  the  gaoler  and  bailiff  of  the  shire  to  convey  them 
to  Morpeth.' 

1  At  times,  it  appears,  the  Judges  and  Wardens  sat  together  at  a  general 
gaol  delivery.  Kalph,  Lord  Eure,  an  inexperienced  Warden,  writes  thus 
to  Burghley  :  he  desires  a  commission  of  gaol  delivery  and  the  assistance 
of  the  Council  of  the  North  or  the  Judges,  '  I  desire  to  keep  a  Warden 
court  the  next  day  following,  for  as  it  "  toucheth  life,"  I  desire  the  assist- 
ance of  the  "gravest"  of  the  north,  and  their  experience  in  justice,  to  the 
terror  of  the  wicked.'  (Calendar  of  Border  Papers,  vol.  ii.) 


To  prevent  a  rescue,  Lord  Dacre  summoned  his 
Harbottle  tenantry,  to  the  number  of  eighty,  to  which 
were  added  his  own  household  servants.  Setting  out 
from  Harbottle  the  prisoners  were  safely  conveyed  as 
far  as  Rothbury  gate,  where  they  were  handed  over 
to  the  gaoler  and  his  escort ;  but  the  prisoners' 
friends,  the  sturdy  men  of  Redewater,  being  apprised 
of  the  movement  crossed  the  moors  behind  Simonside, 
and  overtaking  the  convoy  at  a  straight  path  in 
Rothbury  forest,  killed  the  bailiff  and  six  of  the 
escort,  took  the  gaoler  and  four  of  his  men  prisoners, 
and  having  released  their  ten  kinsmen  fled  for  refuge 
into  Scotland.1 

In  Scotland,  however,  the  Warden's  power  of  hold- 
ing courts  and  administering  punishment  in  his 
Wardenry  was  much  more  limited ;  in  fact,  '  March 
Treason '  in  the  Scottish  records  is  very  rarely  heard 


Lord  Dacre  in  describing  the  event  thus  concludes :  '  And  yet  that 
notwithstanding  the  said  Highelandes  men  of  Riddesdale  had  suche  espiell 
and  kepit  them  secrete  and  close.  And  at  a  strayt  pathe  mett  my  said 
tennantes,  and  killed  my  ballif  of  Morpeth  and  other  6  persones  his  neigh- 
bors, and  took  the  gaoler  and  other  iiij  persons  with  hym  and  had  them 
into  Scotland,  where  as  yet  the  said  gaoller  and  some  other  with  hym  sittes 
in  preson,  whereof  I  have  made  conipleynte  to  the  Wardain,  and  so  to  the 
lordes  of  Scotland,  and  trustes  to  have  remedie  thereof.  Ther  is  fled  into 
Scotland  to  the  nomber  of  xxij  of  the  principal  persons  and  the  residue 
ar  fledd  into  other  partis  where  as  yett  they  ar  nott  knowen  of.  And 
diverse  other  persons  that  cam  to  this  same  effrey  I  have  takin  in  upon 
suyrties  of  ther  good  abering.  And  this  is  the  verey  troughe  of  the  mattir. 

'  Thos.  Lord  Dacre  to  Wolsey,  23rd  Dec.  1518,  from  Harbottle  Castle.' 
See  Charlton's  North  Tynedcde,  pp.  37,  38.  (Carr,  Newcastle-on-Tyne.) 


of.  The  offences  comprised  under  this  term,  so 
frequently  used  on  the  English  Border,  were  doubtless 
much  the  same  in  either  country,  but  their  punish- 
ment rested  in  Scotland  with  the  Sheriff  Courts 
and  hereditary  jurisdictions  of  the  Barons  or  with 
special  Justiciars — as  is  shown  later  in  Part  ii.  of 
Chapter  xiu. — appointed  by  the  King.  Thus  '  March 
Treason,'  as  it  would  have  been  called  in  England, 
would  probably  have  been  termed  in  Scotland  merely 
'  criminal  causes.'  *  By  an  act  of  the  Scottish  Parlia- 
ment in  1587  death  was  the  penalty  to  be  inflicted 
on  any  Scots  subject  who  married  an  Englishwoman 
without  licence  under  the  Great  Seal ;  and  again,  by 
an  Act  of  1523  a  Scottish  subject  who  received  an 
Englishman  or  woman  was  liable  to  suffer  death,  but 
the  penalty  would  not  have  been  inflicted  by  a 
Warden  without  a  special  commission. 

On  the  other  hand,  in  England  these  offences 
would  be  punished  by  the  Wardens,  for  according 
to  clause  2  in  Mr.  Bell's  MS.  it  was  March  Treason 
'  if  any  Englishman  hath  married  with  any  Scots- 
woman or  confederate  in  friendship,  without  the  Lord 

1  Clause  v.  of  '  the  order  to  be  observed  in  the  Stewart  Court  of  Annan- 
dale  '  (Leges  Marchiarum,  Appendix  ii.  p.  190)  runs  as  follows  : — 

'  Item,  It  is  appointed,  that  all  Criminal  causes,  sic  as  assisters  with 
England,  Resetters  of  them  and  their  goods,  Committers  of  Murder,  Fyre, 
Kavishing  of  Women,  Stouth,  and  sic  like,  to  be  committed  to  themselves, 
and  before  all  others  to  be  taken  order  with,  be  an  famous  and  unsuspected 
Assize,  according  to  the  ancient  Laws  of  this  Kealme.' 


Warden's  license,'  though  it  was  not  apparently 
punished  by  the  death  penalty. 

Balfour,  again,  in  his  Scots  Practices  says  that  it 
was  the  Warden's  duty  to  apprehend  those  who  had 
carried  horses,  nolt,  sheep,  etc.,  into  England,  and 
'  present  them  to  the  king's  justice,'  whereas  the 
English  Wardens  would  have  themselves  tried  equi- 
valent cases  and  inflicted  punishment  in  their  own 
Warden's  Courts. 

It  would  seem  that  the  code  of  '  March  Treason ' 
supplemented  the  enactments  of  the  Leges  Mar- 
chiarum,  which  were,  as  we  have  already  seen  in 
Chapter  v.,  in  the  first  instance  '  Truces  and  Abstin- 
ences from  War '  between  the  two  kingdoms,  so  that  it 
may  be  said  to  be  derived  from  a  threefold  source, 
viz.  from  the  Border  Laws,1  from  any  Acts  of  Parlia- 
ment that  dealt  with  the  Border,  as  well  as  from  the 
various  agreements  entered  into  by  the  Wardens 

1  In  1468  '  the  statutes,  ordinances  and  uses  of  marche '  were  put  in 
order  and  writing,  and  sworn  to  by  the  Earl  William  Douglas  and  '  eldest 
borderers  at  Lincluden.  They  had  originally'  been  ordained  in  Black 
Archibald  of  Douglas's  day  (viz.  Sir  Archibald  '  the  grim,'  Earl  of  Douglas 
and  Warden  of  West  March,  who  died  in  1400),  '  and  Archibald  his  son's 
days  (viz.,  Archibald,  fourth  Earl  of  Douglas,' '  the  Tyneman,'  Lord  Warden 
General  of  all  the  Marches),  in  time  of  warfare.  There  are  eighteen  in  all 
of  these  early  Border  Laws,  and  they  deal  with  disobedience  to  the  Warden, 
taking  of  prisoners,  receiving  of  prisoners, '  intercommoning '  with  English- 
men, the  sustaining  of  beacons,  pursuit  on  firing  the  beacons,  and  so  on. 
These  '  uses  of  Marche,'  originally  made  for  the  Scottish  Border,  seem  also, 
or  their  equivalents,  to  have  been  accepted  in  England,  for  there  is  a  copy 
of  them  in  Mr.  Bell's  MS.  (the  oft-mentioned  west  Warden's  clerk  in 
Queen  Elizabeth's  reign).  See  History  of  Westmorland  and  Cumberland, 
voL  L  p.  xli. 


concerning  Border  rule,  all  of  which  the  Warden's 
clerk  was  supposed  to  be  acquainted  with.  Mr.  Bell 
concludes  his  list  of  offences  with  this  exhortation  :— 

'  And  he  that  is  Clerk  of  this  Court  must  have 
foresight  and  special  regard,  to  search  and  learn,  what 
new  laws,  orders  and  statutes  are  made  from  time  to 
time,  by  any  Act  of  Parliament,  or  at  any  day  of 
Marche,  between  the  lords  Wardens  of  England  and 
Scotland,  concerning  any  law  of  Marches,  or  any 
other  cause  inquirable  in  this  court,  and  add  the 
same  to  his  charge.' 

These  '  charges '  of  March  Treason  '  appear  to  be 
fourteen  in  number  according  to  Bishop  Nicholson's 
order  to  keipe  a  Warden's  Court,'  as  quoted  in  the 
Leges  Marchiarum,  but  in  '  the  order  of  keeping  a 
Warden  Court  in  cases  of  March  Treason,'  set  forth 
by  Mr.  Richard  Bell,  the  charges  are  set  down  as 
twenty- three  in  number.1 

Fourteen  of  the  clauses  in  the  two  sets  of  charges 
are  alike  :  the  nine  further  charges  given  by  Mr.  Bell 
deal  with  further  acts  of  intercommuning  between 
Englishmen  and  Scotsmen,  which  are  also,  of  course, 
distinctly  forbidden. 

Certain  of  the  offences  might  have  been  brought 
up  and  dealt  with  at  a  '  Day  of  March '  or  meeting 
of  the  opposite  Wardens,  but  doubtless  it  would 

1  History  of  Westmorland  and  Cumberland,  vol.  i.  pp.  xxvi.-viii. 


expedite  justice  to  have  them  more  swiftly  adjudged 
at  the  Court  of  March  Treason  of  the  English 
Warden1  or  by  the  Sheriff  or  Stewart  Courts  in 

Thus  the  sections  8  and  9  of  the  March  Treason 
code  run  as  follows  : — '  Also,  ye  shall  inquire,  if  any 
Englishman  hath  attempted  or  done  anything  to  the 
breaking  of  the  peace  taken  between  the  Queen's 
Majesty  and  the  Scots  Queen,  or  the  Commissioners 
or  Wardens,  to  the  subjects  or  liegemen  of  the  said 
Scots  Queen,  as  in  killing  any  of  them,  assaulting, 
forreying,  or  robbing  any  of  them,  within  the  realm 
of  Scotland.' 

'  Also,  if  any  Englishman  have  murdered,  assaulted, 
affrayed,  or  robbed  any  Scotsman  within  the  realm  of 
England,  coming  in  by  the  authority  of  the  safe- 
conduct  of  the  said  Lord  Warden,  his  deputy  or 

The  clauses  of  March  Treason  in  general,  then,  are 
concerned  with  the  intercommuning  and  dealing  with 
Scotsmen  to  the  prejudice  of  the  march  under  the 
governance  of  the  English  Warden.  They  are  all 
given  in  Burn  and  Nicholson's  introduction  to  their 


The  Keeper  of  Tynedale  appears  also  to  have  held  a  subordinate  Court 
of  his  own,  for  it  is  stated  in  the  '  view '  of  Sir  Robert  Bowes  in  1541  that 
'  At  the  said  Warke  (in  Tynenale)  ys  there  a  courte  or  lawe  daye  kepte  at 
such  tymes  as  the  kep'  of  Tynedale  doth  appoynte  the  same.' 


History  of  Westmorland  and  Cumberland,  see 
pp.  xxvi. -xxviii. 

Usually  about  a  fortnight  before  a  Warden  Court 
was  held  '  Monicion  and  warning '  would  be  given 
thereof  '  by  proclamation,  throughe  all  the  marketts 
within  the  marches  where  the  said  Warden  Court  is 
to  be  kept,  that  all  gentlemen,  freeholders,  officers, 
and  headsmen  borderers,  should  be  attendant  at  the 
said  Warden  Courte  (speciallye  such  as  be  bounde  to 
appear  at  the  same  or  that  have  any  matters  of 
complaint  to  be  ordered  there).' 

The  Court  being  assembled,  the  proceedings  were 
as  follows : — 

'  The  Warden  Serjeant  to  make  an  Oyez,  pronounc- 
ing the  words  following  : — 

'  All  men  keep  silence,  and  hear  the  Queen's  Majesty's 
commission  of  Wardenry  read. 

1  After  the  commission  is  read,  the  Warden  Serjeant 
must  return  his  precept  with  the  panel. 

'  That  done,  call,  All  gentlemen  that  be  summoned  to 
serve  the  Queen's  Majesty  in  this  court,  come  and  make 
your  appearance,  and  every  man  answer  to  your 
names  at  thejirst  call. 

'  Then,  when  as  many  have  appeared  as  will  form  a 
jury,  give  them  the  oath  :  first  to  the  foreman  in  the 
words  following,  "Ye  shall  truly  inquire,  and  true  pre- 
sentment make  of  all  things  that  shall  be  given  unto 


you  in  charge:  the  Queen's  counsel,  your  fellows,  and 
your  own,  you  shall  keep  and  not  disclose.  So  help 
you  God  at  his  holy  dome" 

'  Then  call  the  rest  to  the  book,  by  four  at  once  or 
more,  giving  them  their  oath  in  this  wise  : — 

'  "  Heard  you  the  oath  your  foreman  hath  taken :  all 
such  oath  as  your  foreman  on  his  behalf  hath  made, 
you  and  every  one  of  you  on  your  behalf  shall  make. 
So  help  you  God" 

'  Then  say  aloud : — 

' "  Gentlemen  that  be  sworn,  come  near  and  hear 
your  charge" 

'Then  read  them  the  charge  distinctly  as  follows.' 

(Here  follows  the  first  clause,  dealing  with  treason- 
able intercourse  with  the  inhabitants  of  the  opposite 

'  Ye  shall  inquire  of  March  treason,  that  is  to  say, 
where  any  Englishman  trists  or  intercommuneth  or 
bringeth  in  any  Scotsman  to  come  into  the  realm,  in 
time  of  peace  or  war,  to  do  any  slaughter,  to  burn,  to 
rob,  steal,  or  do  any  other  offence  within  the  realm.' 

When  the  charge  had  been  read  through  by  the 
Lord  Warden,  the  jury  would  go  apart  whilst  another 
Oyez  was  made,  calling  : — 

'  All  men  that  have  any  complaint  or  bills  concern- 
ing matters  triable  in  this  Warden  Court,  come  and 
put  them  in,  and  ye  shall  be  heard.' 


Then  recognisances  were  to  be  called  and  sureties 
taken ;  the  jury  return  with  their  bills. 

The  prisoners  are  brought  to  the  bar  and  addressed 
by  the  Warden  : — 

'A.  B.,  thou  art  here  indicted,  for  that  thou,  etc.' 
(here  the  indictment  is  read). 

'  How  sayest  thou  by  this  March  treason,  art  thou 
guilty,  or  not  guilty  ? ' 

If  he  pleaded  not  guilty  he  was  to  be  tried  '  By 
God  and  the  Country.' 

He  is  then  confronted  with  the  jury  and  asked 
what  he  could  say  for  himself. 

Another  Oyez  is  now  made,  and  the  Warden 
addresses  his  jury  : — 

'  Gentlemen  that  be  sworn  for  delivery  betiveen  the 
Queen's  majesty  and  the  prisoners  at  the  bar,  come 
near  and  hear  your  charge. 

'  Your  charge  is,  to  inquire  and  find,  whether  A.  B. 
prisoner  at  the  bar  be  guilty  or  not  guilty  of  the 
March  treason  he  standeth  indicted  and  arraigned  of, 
and  whether  he  be  fled  upon  the  fact  done  or  not,  and 
if  you  find  him  guilty,  then  what  lands,  goods,  and 
tenements  he  was  seized  of  at  the  committing  of  the 
said  treason  or  Jlying,  in  the  shire  or  elsewhere  within 
the  realm,  and  of  what  value  they  were.' 

Then  follows  a  call  for  any  man  who  will  give 
evidence  for  the  Queen's  Majesty.  If  the  jury  find 


the  prisoner  guilty  the  Lord  Warden  calls  him  by 
name,  and,  bidding  him  hold  up  his  hand,  thus 
addresses  him : — 

'Forasmuch  as  thou  A.  B.  hast  been  indicted  of 
March  treason,  and  thereupon  arraigned,  and  pleaded 
not  guilty,  and  put  thyself  upon  God  and  the  country, 
and  they  have  found  thee  guilty :  wherefore  this  court 
doth  accord  thou  shalt  be  had  hence  unto  the  place 
from  whence  thou  came,  and  from  thence  to  the  place 
of  execution,  and  there  to  have  thy  head  smitten  from 
thy  body  according  to  the  law  of  the  Marches' 

The  Warden  then  commands  his  officers  to  '  see 
execution  done  upon  these  persons,  according  to  the 
law  of  Marches,  at  your  peril/ 

Then  the  Lord  Warden  might,  if  it  pleased  him 
(and  we  can  imagine  one  possessed  of  '  a  port  or  a 
presence'  or  a  good  voice  being  much  pleased  with 
the  opportunity),  '  exhort  the  prisoner  in  this  wise : 
or  let  some  godlie  man  instruct  theym.'  The  follow- 
ing exhortation  is  taken  from  Bishop  Nicholson's 
Leges  Marchiarum : — 

'  Ye  that  are  adjudged  by  ordre  of  Lawe  of  this 
Realme  to  dye,  remember  that  ye  have  but  a  short 
tyme  to  leve  in  this  world :  therefore  Earnestly  call 
to  God,  with  penytent  harts,  for  Mercye  and  Forgive- 
ness of  your  Synnful  Lyves  :  repent  ye  have  broken 
God's  commandment,  and  be  sory  therefor :  and  for 


that  ye  did  not  feir  the  bretche  and  dangers  of  the 
Lawes,  therefor,  youer  bodies  must  suffer  the  paynes 
of  Death,  provided  to  satisfye  the  rewarde  of  your 
fact  in  this  world  :  yet  the  Salvation  of  youer  Saulles 
healthe,  for  the  world  to  come,  stands  in  the  great 
mercye  of  Almightie  God :  wherefor  do  ye  earnestly 
repent,  and  ask  mercye  for  yower  synnes,  now  when 
ye  are  levynge,  put  yower  trust  to  be  savede  by  the 
merits  of  Grists  passion  ;  and  think  in  youer  harts  yf 
ye  wer  able  to  recompense  theme  ye  haive  offendit,  ye 
wold  do  it :  and  where  yowe  are  not  able,  aske  for- 
giveness ;  Have  such  faithe  in  god's  mercye  as 
Dismas  the  thefe  and  man  murderer  hade  that  hung 
at  Grists  right  hand,  when  he  suffrede  his  passion  for 
the  redemption  of  mankynde  :  whos  faith  was  so  great 
he  shoulde  be  saved,  his  synnes  wer  remytted,  tho  he 
had  but  short  time  of  repentance,  and  he  enjoyede 

(  Therefor  despayr  not  in  God's  mercye,  tho  yower 
sinnes  be  great,  for  God's  mercye  excedith  all  his 
workes.  Set  apart  all  vanities  of  the  World,  and 
comfurth  yowe  in  hevynlye  things ;  and  doubt  not  but, 
yf  ye  so  doe,  ye  shall  inheryt  everlasting  joy  in  the 
kingdom  of  Hevyn.  And  thus  I  commytt  yowe  to  the 
mercye  ofGode,  wishinge  yower  deathes  may  be  exemple 
to  all  Parynts  to  bring  up  theyr  childre  in  the  Feyr 
of  Gode,  and  obidience  of  the  Lawes  of  this  realme.' 


After  which  instruction  the  prisoner  was  taken 
from  '  the  Barre,'  and  the  Court  was  adjourned  by 
the  Lord  Warden. 

'  All  manner  of  men  that  have  more  to  do  at  this 
Court,  before  my  Lord  Warden :  keip  yower  day  here 
upon  a  new  warnynge;  and  so  for  this  tyme  depart  in 
Gods  peace  and  the  Queues. 

'  God  save  the  Quene.' 

From  the  foregoing  it  would  appear  that  death  was 
the  penalty  in  every  case  of  March  Treason,  but 
apparently  in  later  times  this  was  only  inflicted  for 
the  graver  offences  of  felony. 

Indeed,  that  death  could  not  have  been  the  invari- 
able penalty  for  March  Treason  is  proved  by  the  fact 
that  Sir  Robert  Bowes  gives  '  another  forme  for 
offences  which  be  not  punishable  by  deathe,'  the  form 
of  indictment  seeming  to  vary  in  this  event  and  to 
be  without  the  words  proditorie  and  contra  pacem 
Dominae  Regis  et  leguntiam  suam.  The  instance  he 
gives  is  of  an  Englishman  intercommuning  with  a 
Scotsman  and  selling  him  a  '  horse  coloure  baye  con- 
trary e  to  the  lawes  and  statutes  of  this  realme  of 
England  and  his  dutie  of  obedience  to  the  same.' 

According  to  the  apocryphal  story  of  Lord  William 
Howard  of  Naworth  (Sir  Walter  Scott's  'Bauld 
Willie,'  who  yet  was  never  a  Warden),  that  gentle 
and  studious  nobleman  was  horrified  to  see  the  corpse 


of  a  moss-trooper  swinging  from  a  tree  beside  the 
Bailey  as  he  went  forth  to  take  the  air,  and  still  more 
to  be  informed  that  his  testy  exclamation,  '  Oh,  hang 
him ! ' — on  being  interrupted  in  his  studies — had  been 
literally  applied  to  the  corpus  vile  before  his  eyes. 

The  majority  of  Lord  Wardens  would  have  cordially 
agreed  with  Lord  Braxfield  that  a  Border  pricker  or 
moss-trooper  would  be  '  nane  the  waur  of  a  hanging,' 
and  would  have  often  anticipated  by  their  deeds  the 
Border  Law  of  1596,  that  ran  as  follows : — 

'  The  most  sufficient  and  discreet  Borderers '  of  the 
marches  of  either  realm  are  to  '  make  diligent  enquiry 
and  tryal  of  all  notorious  thieves  and  robbers  within 
their  Wardenry.'  A  copy  is  then  to  be  handed  to  the 
Warden,  '  who  shall,  upon  the  first  attempt  that  shall 
be  truly  tryed  and  fyled  upon  ane  of  them  hereafter, 
put  the  said  offender  immediately  to  death.' 





1st  Watchman.      0  Watcher  at  the  ford,  your  streams  run  low, 
Did  any  rider  cross  ?    Did  any  go 
Your  way  beneath  the  moon  1 

2nd  Watchman.     The  moon  is  young.     I  saw  the  crescent  stoop 
Till  imaged  in  the  pool  her  silver  loop, 
No  more— she  set  too  soon. 

1st  Watchman.       0  Watcher,  heard  you  at  the  strait  no  sound 
Of  feet  that  stumbled  on  the  stony  ground, 
Where  one  might  take  the  hill  ? 

2nd  Watchman.     I  heard  the  water  wash  among  the  weeds, 
A  hunting  otter  rustled  in  the  reeds, 
Naught  else — the  night  was  still. 

1st  Watchman.  The  night  was  still,  I  rode  beside  the  stream. 
Heard  you  no  cry  ?  I  saw  a  lanthorn  gleam, 
For  what  searched  you  the  wood  ? 

2nd  Watchman.     There  screamed  some  vermin  tangled  in  a  snare, 
It  was  a  thieving  fox  that  I  found  there, 
And  flung  him  to  the  flood. 

1st  Watchman.      0  Watcher,  where  you  marked  the  drift-wood  ride 
The  flood,  saw  you  naught  else  go  down  the  tide  ? 
At  dawn  the  spate  rose  high. 

2nd  Watchman.     Above  this  ford  you  know  the  haughs  are  green, 
And  many  cattle  graze.     I  may  have  seen 
A  foundered  steer  go  by. 



IF  any  one  were  in  doubt  as  to  the  perpetual  unrest 
upon  the  Border  he  need  but  turn  to  the  '  Orders  of 
the  Watches'  upon  the  West,  Middle  and  East 
Marches  made  by  the  Lord  Wharton,  Lord-Deputy 
General  of  all  the  three  Marches,  under  my  Lord  of 
Northumberland's  Grace,  Lord  Warden  General  of  all 
the  said  Marches,  in  the  month  of  October,  in  the 
sixth  year  of  the  reign  of  our  Sovereign  Lord  King 
Edward  VL,  for  therein  he  will  note  that  the 
entire  line  of  the  Border  was  to  be  watched  both 
night  and  day.  In  the  day-time  the  watches  were 
set  upon  the  heights  so  as  to  guard  the  various  tracks 
or  passages ;  at  night  the  fords  over  the  various 
rivers  were  chiefly  guarded.  Any  '  true  men  known, 
and  that  proved '  coming  within  those  waters  are  to 
be  allowed  to  depart ;  if  unknown,  they  are  to  be 
brought  to  the  '  Baylifs  and  Constables  to  be  tryed.' 
There,  if  not  '  labouring  in  their  true  and  lawful 
business/  they  are  to  be  sent  to  gaol,  and  finally  tried 
by  the  General,  the  Deputy  Warden,  or  by  the  Jus- 
tices of  Peace  of  these  counties.  (Leges  Marchiarum.) 

These  watches  were  '  to  begin  the  first  night  of 
October,  and  to  continue  unto  the  sixteenth  day  of 
March  :  and  the  same  sooner  to  begin,  or  longer  to 
continue  at  the  discretions  of  the  General,  or  of  the 
Deputy  Warden  for  the  time  being.' 

The  night  watch  had  '  to  be  set  at  the  Day-going, 


and  to  continue  unto  the  Day  be  light ;  and  the  Day 
watch,  where  the  same  is,  to  begin  at  the  Daylight, 
and  to  continue  unto  the  Day  be  gone.  And,  if  any 
Person  or  Persons  disobey  any  of  the  said  Watchers, 
Baylifs,  Constables,  Setters,  Searchers,  or  Overseers, 
in,  or  for  the  execution  of  the  said  Watch,  in  any 
manner  of  wise :  he  or  they  so  disobeying  to  be 
brought  to  the  king's  Highness  gaol,  there  to  be 
punished  at  the  discretion  of  the  General,  or  of  the 
Deputy -Warden  for  the  time  being,  where  such 
offence  shall  be  done.' 

The  Borderers  were  said  to  be  without  any  know- 
ledge of  the  Sixth  and  Eighth  Commandments,  and 
when  they  prayed — as  Bishop  Lesley  assures  us  they 
commonly  did  before  running  their  '  forays ' — cattle 
rather  than  '  daily  bread '  would  be  the  object  of 
their  desire.  It  will  be  noted  that  the  watches  were 
only  set  during  the  winter  months ;  but  even  during 
spring  and  summer,  when  '  trade  was  slack '  and  they 
turned  to  pasturing  their  cattle  about  their  '  shiels ' 
on  the  hill-tops,  there  was  constant  danger  of  '  nowt,' 
sheep,  nags  or  goats  disappearing,  and  of  '  the  fray ' 
being  brought  to  the  door  of  the  quiet  householder. 
Yet  there  was  a  distinct  respite  during  these  months, 
and  the  inhabitants  must  have  been  glad  to  be  quit 
of  the  weary  and  dangerous  duty  of  guarding  by  day 
and  night  the  passages  and  fords  along  the  Border. 


This  was  no  light  duty  that  the  inhabitants  of  the 
various  townships  had  to  perform,  and  the  'setters 
and  searchers  of  the  watch,'  who  were  the  gentry  of 
the  immediate  countryside,  had  to  see  that  the 
watchers  duly  performed  their  watch  and  ward,  under 
pain  of  being  themselves  fined  for  neglect. 

Thus  endlong  the  Border  the  ward  and  watch  were 
set — chosen  from  the  members  of  each  township — 
guarding  passage  and  track,  water  and  ford  through 
the  twenty-four  hours.  Two  men  usually  formed  the 
watch ;  and  as  they  stood,  grumbling  and  cheerless,  in 
the  dark  night,  a  voice  might  suddenly  hail  them,  and 
two  searchers  might  ride  up  to  make  a  hasty  in- 
spection, and  return  through  the  sleet  of  a  winter's 
storm  to  their  warm  inglenook  within  their  Pele 
towers.  Further,  there  was  an  overseer  sometimes  as 
well,  and  every  energetic  land  serjeant  or  Warden's 
officer  or  'King's  Highness  Servant'  would  be  in- 
terested in  seeing  that  the  watches  were  duly  kept. 

Thus  at  Cryssopford,  for  example,  the  four  watchers 
there  might  at  any  time  during  a  winter  night  be  in 
danger  from  a  sudden  raid  from  Liddesdale.  Per- 
haps the  Elliots  or  Armstrongs  would  be  riding  to 
avenge  a  '  deadly  feud,'  or  the  Robsons  of  Tynedale  to 
'  learn  them '  a  lesson  in  manners,  and  impress  on  their 
memory  that  the  '  next  time  gentlemen  came  to  take 
their  sheep  they  were  no  to  be  scabbed.'  Then  again 


beside  the  Earl  Seat  the  two  shivering  watchers 
might  be  swiftly  set  upon  by  a  plump  of  Scots  under 
the  leadership  of  Buccleugh  (the  '  flagellum  Dei '  as 
the  Commissioners  reported  him  to  Burghley),  who 
might  be  coming  to  demand  his  sword,  which  the 
Charltons  kept  at  Hesleyside  Tower.  They  stood  in 
almost  as  many  perils  as  St.  Paul,  these  watchers, 
since  for  any  shirking  in  the  fighting — which  was 
dangerous  enough  in  itself — they  were  liable  to  the 
penalty  of  '  March  Treason,'  viz.  a  heading  or  hanging 
at  the  Lord  Warden's  hand.  Lest,  however,  the 
modern  should  revolt  over  the  barbarousness  of  the 
past,  we  must  remember  that  even  in  our  own  day 
the  police  have  to  keep  watch  and  ward  throughout 
our  towns,  and  that  every  night  coastguardsman 
meets  coastguardsman  along  the  length  of  our  coast. 

Human  nature  remains  much  the  same  throughout 
the  ages.  Thieves  have  gone  from  the  countryside 
and  now  congregate  in  the  towns. 

An  interesting  point  as  to  these  watchers  and 
searchers,  who  are  individually  named  by  Lord 
Wharton  in  his  '  Orders  of  the  Watches,'  is  that  their 
descendants  still  inhabit  the  same  district,  so  that  if 
unhappily  the  same  necessity  still  existed  the  same 
names  would  often  appear  in  the  Warden's  lists. 

For  example,  '  in  the  order  of  the  Day  Watch  for 
North  Tyndaill '  it  is  ordered  that,  '  The  inhabitants  of 


the  Newtons,  Charlton-yaite,  Charlton,  Langhaughe, 
the  Redyns,  Ryding,  the  Shaw,  and  [Billingham] 
Bellingham  shall  watch  at  the  Whythughe  with  2 
men  in  the  Watch  :  William  Charlton  of  Billingham, 
and  John  Robson,  to  be  Setters  and  Searchers  of  that 
watch';  and  any  one  reading  this  and  being  acquainted 
with  North  Tynedale  will  recognise  in  the  names  of 
the  setters  and  searchers  two  representatives  of  the 
'  four  graynes '  of  old  time  who  still  flourish  about 
Bellingham  in  the  twentieth  century. 

This  Lord  Wharton — the  organiser  of  the  watch 
and  ward — was  one  of  the  Tudor '  new  men '  who  swept 
with  a  hard  besom ;  and  it  is  with  a  sort  of  Roman 
military  precision  that  he  parcelled  out  the  Southern 
Border  into  its  day  and  night  watches  along  its 
entire  length.  Not  only  are  the  watchmen,  as  well 
as  the  'setters  and  searchers/  specified  by  name 
throughout,  but  letters  were  written  by  him  to  the 
chief  gentry  '  to  see  and  cause  the  watch  to  be  set, 
searched  and  kept  in  due  order,  as  particularly  in 
every  charge  hereafter  appeareth/ 

One  set  of  his  letters  given  from  the  castle  of 
Carlisle  ran  as  follows  : — 

'  After  my  hearty  commendation,  I  doubt  not  but  you 
see  the  watches  surely  set  and  kept  from — unto — in 
such  form  as  the  same  heretofore  hath  been  accustomed, 
and  by  open  proclamation  commanded;  nevertheless, 


for  the  better  execution,  and  that  none  offenders  therein 
shall  have  none  excuse  for  lake  of  warning,  I  shall 
require  you  on  the  Kings  Majesties  behalf,  to  give  such 
notice  and  knowledge  to  all  the  Townshipps  through 
the  said  Watches,  as  they  may  be  most  surely  kept  at 
their  perils,  least  by  privy  search  the  fault  be  found, 
which  will  run  to  the  extreme  punishment  of  the 
offenders,  according  to  the  Kings  Highness  Laws. 

*  Fail  you  not  thereof,  as  ye  tender  his  Majesties 
pleasure,  and  the  commonwealth  of  his  graces  subjects, 
and  heartily  fare  you  well' 

As  Captain  of  Carlisle  and  Warden  of  the  West 
March,  then  as  Deputy- Warden  General  of  the  three 
Marches,  and  finally  as  Warden  of  the  Middle  and 
Eastern  Marches — to  which  he  had  been  transferred 
owing  to  a  'deadly  feud'  with  the  Maxwells  for  hanging 
their  '  pledges ' — he  had  an  unrivalled  experience  of 
Border  life. 

There  is  also  given  in  the  Appendix  to  the  Leges 
Marchiarum  a  further  copy  of  '  Letters  from  my 
Lord  Wharton,  for  search  of  the  said  watches  upon 
the  Middle  Marches ;  with  the  Kalendar  of  the 
Gentlemen  Searchers  and  their  several  Circuits/ 
given  from  the  '  Castle  of  Alnewyke/ 

Again,  there  is  a  copy  of  several  commissions  *  of 
his  to  certain  gentlemen  for  the  damming  and 
stopping  sundry  Fords  and  Passages  upon  the  waters 


of  South  Tyne,  North  Tyne,  Reyd  and  other  waters 
and  passages  by  land  in  Northumberland.' 

Finally,  in  the  same  book  is  also  a  copy  given  of 
his  instructions  for  inclosings  and  hedgings  within 
the  limits  and  bounds  of  Northumberland,  with  the 
several  circuits  and  the  names  of  the  gentlemen  put 
in  trust  for  the  execution  of  the  same ;  this  was  for 
'  the  advancement  of  his  Highness'  Service  and  the 
preservation  and  commonwealth.' 

This  seems  not  to  have  been  carried  out  save  on  the 
Western  Border — the  time  was  not  ripe  yet  for  such 
peaceful  ideals — but  various  suggestions  in  his  final 
survey  of  the  three  marches  to  his  superior,  the  Lord 
Warden  General,  Northumberland,  doubtless  bore 

It  is  evident,  therefore,  how  thorough  Lord  Wharton 
was  in  his  office,  and  it  is  highly  interesting  to  read 
through  these  orders  of  his  for  the  various  watches, 
for  you  will  encounter  at  the  various  fords,  passages 
and  crags  many  well-known  '  names/  and  meet  among 
the  'setters  and  searchers'  representatives  of  many 
ancient  families.  The  extreme  Western  March  seems 
to  have  been  in  the  charge  of  the  Barony  of 
Burgh,  Cardronocks  watching  to  Bowness,  Bowness 
to  Glasson,  and  Glasson  to  Drumburgh,  etc. ;  but  the 
orders  start  with,  '  Beginning  at  the  foot  of  Levin, 
and  so  up,  Esk  to  Liddisdaile:  in  Esk,  8  several 


Watches  to  be  appointed,  and  in  every  watch  2 

At  Bamburgh  the  order  of  the  watch  for  the  East 
Border  ends  thus,  '  The  Town  of  Bamburge  keeping 
watch  with  2  men  nightly,  and  to  watch  between 
Hoppen  and  Luckerford,'  the  day  watch  finishing  JLt, 
Carham,  '  Charram,  to  watch  Chillaw  with  one  man 
on  the  day.' 

There  were  yet  '  Watches  alongst  the  water  of 
Tyll'  and  the  'Water  of  Twede '  to  be  enumerated, 
and  finally  thirty-nine  fords  on  the  water  of  Tyll, 
'  which  the  tenants  of  the  foresaid  Townes  will 
damm  and  stop,  because  they  are  not  able  to  watch 

'  Plump '  Watches  are  also  occasionally  mentioned 
in  connection  with  keeping  order  throughout  the 
country,  though  the  term  is  not  used  in  the  Leges 
Marchiarum.  A  '  plump  watch '  (cp.  a  '  plump  of 
spears,'  a  '  plump  shower ')  would  seem  to  have  been 
an  extraordinary  watch,  set  when  the  country  was 
especially  disturbed,  and  consisting  of  a  considerable 
number  of  men,  viz.  forty,  as  in  those  set  by  Edward 
Gray,  Constable  of  Morpeth,  who  wrote  as  follows 
to  the  Warden  (Lord  Eure)  concerning  the  outrages 
of  '  house  thieves  on  forraine  borderers ' : — he  had 
arranged  for  '  the  plump  watch  in  7  places  to  be 
kept  by  as  many  gentlemen  of  the  ward — and  att 

1       B     K     R     N     I     C     V     M 

ESssr   •  y£ 

I  ttt 

mmmmi^^f*"?        r?*^mmm**~*~-  S  *-^-    .  . 




every  place  everie  leader  to  chouse  oute  XL  men  out 
of  his  divisyon.'1 

Again,  William  Selby  the  elder,  writing  to  William 
Selby  the  junior,  says,  '  None  of  your  friends  dare  lie 
in  their  beds  at  night,  but  hide  themselves  in  the 
fields,  except  such  as  lie  in  towers' — on  account  of 
Cessford's  harryings — '  I  then  desired  Sir  Robert 
[Carey,  the  Warden]  to  make  the  countrie  keep 
"plump  watches,"  but  nothing  was  done.'2 

. .      PART  II 


'  They  rode  the  moon  out  of  the  sky, 
Their  hoofs  drummed  in  the  dawn.' 


Reparabit  cornua  Phoebe,  the  motto  or  slogan  of 
the  Scotts,  would  be  eagerly  repeated  by  their 
followers  when  the  Michaelmas  moon — that  was  to 
dower  their  daughters — showed  golden  upon  the 

Now  to  ride  by  the  light  o'  the  moon  across  the 
wastes  and  flows  of  the  moors  and  grass  lands  is  no 
easy  undertaking,  and  the  first  requisite  is  an  entire 
knowledge  of  the  tracks  that  run  dark  and  devious 

1  Calendar  of  Border  Papers,  vol.  ii.  p.  452.     2  Ibid.,  TO!  ii.  p.  213. 



amongst  the  heather,  and  through  the  peaty  bogs, 
where  often  indeed  the  only  safety  lies  in  dismounting 
and  leading  your  horse  by  the  bridle,  even  as  Hobbie 
Noble  of  old  according  to  the  ballad. 

'  He  has  guided  them  o'er  moss  and  muir, 
O'er  hill  and  hope,  and  mony  a  down ; 
Until  they  came  to  the  Foulbogshiel, 

And  there,  brave  Noble,  he  lighted  down.' 

In  an  interesting  leaflet  (No.  287)  of  the  Historical 
Association  on  '  Some  Influences  of  the  Geography  of 
Northumberland  upon  its  History,'  it  is  sought  to 
show  that  the  routes  taken  by  the  forayers  of  old 
were  largely  chosen  out  of  geographical  considerations. 

Thus  a  '  Raider's  Line '  is  given  as  from  Carham  on 
the  Tweed  to  Chollerford  via  Harbottle.  Doubtless 
for  an  army  equipped  with  ordnance  good  roads,  and 
passes,  and  gaps  through  the  hills  are  of  first  import- 
ance, but  the  raiders  on  their  little  horses,  and 
knowing  the  moors  very  well,  were  able  to  '  run  their 
raid'  and  'drive  their  prey'  by  tracks  right  across  the 

Though  these  raiders  seem  to  have  come  from  all 
quarters,  as  evidenced  by  the  fact  that  all  the  high 
ground  was  watched  during  the  day,  and  the  fords  at 

1  The  writer  was  once  advised  by  a  well-known  Borderer,  in  the  event  of 
his  not  knowing  his  way  from  one  place  to  another,  to  '  keep  always  the 
crown  of  the  hill,'  which  experience  has  shown  to  be  very  good  advice. 


night,   yet,  doubtless,  there  were   certain  favourite 
places  where  the  marchmen  '  most  did  congregate.' 

Thus  Bewcastle  dale  and  Spade  Adam  '  waste ' 
were  open  spaces  where  the  'spate'  of  Scottish 
'  Hobilers '  came  pouring  through.  Lord  Dacre  wrote 
to  Cardinal  Wolsey  in  1528  as  follows : — 

'Like  it  also  your  grace,  seeing  the  disordour 
within  Scotland,  that  all  the  mysguyded  men, 
Borderers  of  the  same,  inhabiting  within  Eskdale, 
Ewsdale,  Walghopedale,  Liddesdale,  and  a  part  of 
Tividale  foranempst  Bewcastledale  and  a  part  of 
the  Middle  Marches  of  this  the  King's  Bordours, 
enters  not  this  West  and  Middle  Marches,  to  do  any 
attemptate  to  the  King  our  said  soveraine's  subjects  ; 
but  thaye  come  thorow  Bewcastelldale,  and  retornes, 
for  the  most  parte,  the  same  waye  agayne.' 

Again,  take  the  following  passage  from  Musgrave's 
report  on  the  Border  riders  to  Burghley  in  1583  and 
you  will  find  another  route  given  for  Liddesdale. 
'  When  Leddisdall  people  make  anie  invacions  to  the 
Fenwickes,  they  goe  without  (viz.,  outside,  or  east  of) 
Bewcastell  xi  or  xii  myles,  and  goe  by  the  Perlfell 
without  the  Horses  heade  nere  Kelder,  and  so  alonge 
abone  Chepchase. 

'When  they  goe  to  the  water  of  Tyne  (viz.,  the 
South  Tyne),  they  goe  by  Kyrsopp  head,  and  without 
the  gele  Crage,  and  by  Tarnbek  and  Bogells  gar  and 


so  alonge  by  the  Spye  Crage,  and  the  Lampert,  and 
come  that  waye/ 

Again,  as  Sir  John  Selby  writes  to  Burghley  a  few 
years  later — the  Liddesdale  men  rode  also  into  the 
East  March — 'These  Liddesdale  men  are  the  most 
disordered  of  all  the  Border,  they  come  in  great 
bands  through  Tevedall  and  the  Marc  (Merse)  into 
these  East  marches,  and  return  with  their  booty 
quietly  the  same  way,  without  resistance,  for  they 
have  no  warden  to  answer  for  them  by  Border  Law.' 

There  was  an  old  Border  proverb  concerning  the 
men  that  dwelt  within  '  the  swyres '  of  the  Liddel, 
which  was  evidently  drawn  from  bitter  experience, 
for  '  to  ride  night  and  day  like  the  Liddesdale  men ' 
was  a  common  expression. 

There  were  along  the  Middle  March  alone  no  fewer 
than  forty-four  '  passages  and  byeways  for  the  theefe,' 
as  you  may  read  in  No.  853,  Calendar  of  Border 
Papers,  1597,  wherein  is  set  forth  a  '  breafe  of  the 
bounders  wayes  and  passages  of  the  Middle  Marche 
all  along  the  border  of  Scotland,  beginning  att 
Chiveat  hill  being  the  lemyet  of  the  Easte  Marche 
and  ending  att  Kirsop  the  bounder  of  the  West 
Marche  of  Englande.' 




'  Et  insuper  ad  signa,  vocata  Bekyns,  in  locis  consuetis,  per  quae  gentes 
Patriae  de  adventu  inimicoruin  proditorum  et  rebellium  praedictorum 
congruis  temporibus  possunt  praemuniri,  poni  et  supervideri  ac  separari  et 
emendari  faciendum.'  RYMEB,  Foedera. 

'  As  stars  arise  upon  the  night, 
They  gleam'd  on  many  a  dusky  tarn, 
Haunted  by  the  lonely  earn  ; 
On  many  a  cairn's  great  pyramid, 
Where  urns  of  mighty  chiefs  lie  hid  ; 
Till  high  Dunedin  the  blazes  saw, 
From  Soltra  to  Dumpender  Law  ; 
And  Lothian  heard  the  Eegent's  order, 
That  all  should  bowne  them  for  the  Border.' 

SCOTT,  The  Lay  of  the  Last  Minstrel. 

THE  watches  were  set  along  the  English  Border 
between  Berwick  and  Carlisle,  but  the  Scottish  watch 
and  ward  extended  far  to  the  west  of  this,  stretching 
into  Annandale,  whilst  bale  fires  were  to  be  lit  even 
as  far  west  as  Gallow  Hill  in  Moffat  parish.  In  the 
earliest  code  of  the  '  statutes,  ordinances,  and  uses  of 
March'  (temp.  1468),  mentioned  in  Chapter  VIL,  the 
beacons  are  named  and  their  sustentation  enjoined. 

Again,  we  read  in  the  Appendix  to  the  Leges 
Marchiarum  that  the  '  ane  wise  stout  man '  who  kept 
the  House  of  Howdam  has  '  assuredly  to  take  heed, 


that  the  watch-house  of  Trailtrow  be  keeped  by  the 
watch  thereof:  and  in  time  of  warfare,  the  Beaken, 
as  is  devised,  that  is  even  in  Weir,  and  in  Peace,  the 
watch  to  be  keeped  on  the  House-head  and  in  the 
Weir,  the  Beacon  in  the  Firepan  to  be  keeped  and 
never  faill  burning,  so  long  as  the  Englishmen  remain 
in  Scotland  ;  and  with  ane  Bell  to  be  on  the  Head  of 
the  Firepan,  which  shall  ring  whenever  the  Fray  is, 
or  that  the  watchman  seeing  the  thieves  disobedient 
come  over  the  water  of  Annand,  or  thereabout,  and 
knowes  them  to  be  enemies :  and  whosoever  bydes 
fra  the  Fray,  or  turns  again  so  long  as  the  Beaken 
burns,  or  the  Bell  rings,  shall  be  holden  as  Partakers 
to  the  enemies,  and  used  as  Traitors  to  the  Head 
Burgh  of  the  Shyre,  upon  the  Court  day,  and  there- 
after intimation  made  in  the  Parish  Kirk,  and 
published  on  ane  Sunday,  in  presence  of  the  People, 
and  fra  thenceforth  to  be  used  as  a  fugitive,  and 
disobedient  Person.' 

And  in  1587  an  act  of  the  Scottish  Council  orders 
the  lieges  to  '  keip  watch  nycht  and  day,  and  burne 
bailies  acording  to  the  accustomed  ordour  observit  at 
sic  tymes  upon  the  bourdouris.' 

In  England  bale  fires  or  beacons  were  ordered  by 
Edward  I.  to  be  ready  prepared  against  and  instantly 
lit  on  the  approach  of  the  Scots  to  the  county  of 
Lancaster.  His  precept  to  the  Sheriff  of  Lancaster 


runs  thus :  '  Praecipimus  etiam  tibi,  quod  super 
cacumina  parari  facias  cumulos  lignorum  et  tur- 
bonum,  ut  cum  alicui  parti  comitatus  de  adventu 
Scotorum  constiterit,  statim  rogos  et  cremationes  de 
illis  lignis  et  turbonibus  faciant  pro  universali  prce- 
munitione  dicti  Comitatus.' 

This  is  given  in  the  Appendix  to  the  Leges 
MarcJiiarum,  and  is  taken  from  the  records  of 
Edward  I.  It  is  also  said  that  similar  instructions 
were  sent  to  the  Sheriffs  of  Northumberland,  West- 
moreland and  Cumberland,  '  consimili  modo,  man- 
datum  est  Vicecomiti  Northumbriar,  Westmere. 
Cumbr.'  At  a  later  date  the  places  specially 
appointed  for  beacons  were,  in  Cumberland — Black- 
comb,  Boothill,  Mulcaster  Fell,  St.  Bees  Head, 
Workington  Hill,  Moothay,  SJciddaw,  Sandale  Top, 
Carlisle  Castle,  Lingy  Close  Head,  Beacon  Hill, 
Penriih,  Dale  Raughton,  Brampton  Mote  and 
Spadeadam  Top ;  and  in  Westmoreland,  upon  the 
top  of  Stanemore,  Orton  Scar,  Farleton  Knot,  Whin- 
fell  Fell,  and  Hardknot. 

On  the  East  March  of  Scotland  beacons  were 
maintained  according  to  a  statute  in  1455,  as  Sir 
Walter  Scott  writes  in  the  Border  Antiquities,  at 
'  Hume  Castle,  at  the  Tower  of  Edgerhope,  or 
Edgerstane,  near  the  source  of  the  Jed,  upon  the 
ridge  of  the  Soltra  Hills,  at  Dunbar,  Dunpender  (or 


Trapraine)  Law,  North  Berwick  Law,  and  other 
eminences :  and  their  light  was  a  signal  for  the 
Scottish  forces  to  assemble  at  Edinburgh  and 
Haddington,  abandoning  to  waste  and  pillage  all 
the  southern  counties/ 

On  the  West  March  of  Scotland  '  the  Beacons  to 
be  sustained '  are  set  down  as  follows  : — '  It  is  found 
statute  and  used  in  time  of  warfare,  with  respect  to 
bails  burning  and  keeping,  for  coming  of  an  English 
host  into  Scotland,  there  shall  a  bail  be  burned  on 
Trailtrow-hill,  and  another  on  the  Penchat-Tiill,  and 
on  the  Bail-hill  above  the  Hame-ends,  one  on  the 
Cowdens  above  Castlemilk,  one  on  Quitsoun,  one  on 
Drysdail,  and  on  the  Burraw  Skenton  in  Applegarth 
parish,  one  on  the  Browan  Hill,  and  one  on  the  Bleis 
(Blaze  Hill)  in  the  tenement  of  Wamphray,  one  on 
the  Kindol-Jcnok  in  the  tenement  of  Johnstoun,  one 
on  the  Gallow  Hill  of  Moffat  parish,  and  5  in  Nithis- 
dale,  one  on  the  Wardlaw,  one  on  the  Rahachtoun, 
one  on  Barloch,  one  on  the  Pittane  hill,  one  on  the 
Malow  hill,  one  on  Corswinton,  one  on  the  Cor  sell,  one 
on  the  fell  above  Dowlbark,  and  one  on  the  Watchfell : 
and  to  cause  these  bails  to  be  kept  and  made,  the 
Sheriff  of  Nithisdale,  the  Stewart  of  Annandale,  and 
the  Stewart  of  Kirkcudbright  in  Galloway  shall  be 
debtors  :  and  who  so  keepeth  not  the  bails,  shall  pay 
for  each  default  one  mark.' 


The  crests  of  all  the  high  hills  on  either  side  were 
thus  furnished  with  their  beacons,  which  would 
unfurl  upon  the  midnight  sky 

'The  blood-red  flag 
All  flaring  and  uneven.' 

In  the  year  1588  the  sentinel  upon  Carlisle  Castle 
might  well  doubt,  as  he  caught  sight  of  the  '  red  glare 
of  Skiddaw,'  whether  it  were  the  advent  of  Spain 
that  was  being  heralded  or  only  that  of  '  t'oald 
enemy,'  Scotland,  but  if,  as  he  stood  doubting,  his 
eye  could  catch  the  prospect  of  smaller  flames  lighting 
like  glow-worms  the  nearer  leas  and  fells,  he  would 
conclude,  with  a  sigh  of  relief,  that  it  was  only  Scot- 
land, and  rejoice  that  he  at  least  was  safe  within  the 
walls  of '  merry  Carlisle,'  and  so  himself  be  safe  from 
being  'spulzied/ 

As  on  a  day  of  jubilee  the  beacons  flash  their 
joyous  message  from  hill-top  to  hill- top  throughout 
the  land,  so  in  time  of  war  did  the  bale  fires  foretell 
with  fiery  tongue  the  coming  of  '  the  fray/  which  was 
repeated  from  mountain  to  hill,  from  hill  to  Pele 
Tower,  and  from  Pele  to  hamlet,  throughout  the 
centuries  of  Border  war.  For  we  read  that  in 
1570  an  order  was  issued  to  the  Wardens  of  the 
East  and  Middle  Marches  of  England  by  the  Earl  of 
Sussex,  Lord  President  of  the  Council  of  the  North, 
as  follows : — 


'  Everie  man  that  hath  a  castle  or  a  tower  of  stone 
shall,  upon  everie  fray  raysed  in  the  night,  give 
warning  to  the  countrie  by  fire  in  the  topps  of  the 
castle  or  tower  in  such  sort  as  he  shal  be  directed 
from  his  warning  castle,  upon  paine  of  3s.  4d.' 

'  They  watch,  to  hear  the  bloodhound  baying : 
They  watch,  to  hear  the  war-horn  braying ; 
To  see  St.  George's  red  cross  streaming, 
To  see  the  midnight  beacon  gleaming ; 
They  watch,  against  Southern  force  and  guile, 
Lest  Scroop,  or  Howard,  or  Percy's  powers, 
Threaten  Branksome's  lordly  towers, 
From  Wark worth,  or  Naworth,  or  merry  Carlisle.' 

SCOTT,  The  Lay  of  the  Last  Minstrel. 




'  The  Scot  and  Ker  the  mid  Border  did  possess, 
The  Humes  possest  the  East,  and  the  Johnstons  the  West ; 
With  their  adjacent  neighbours,  put  the  English  to  more  pains, 
Nor  half  the  North,  and  all  three  Lothians.' 


History  of  the  Name  of  Scot. 

ON  the  Scottish  Border  the  clan  system  was  more  in 
evidence  than  on  the  English  side,  blood  relationship 
to  a  remote  degree  being  acknowledged  in  Scotland 
by  the  head  of  the  family  far  more  readily  than  in 
England.  This  may  be  said  to  hold  good  even  at  the 
present  time  in  the  Highlands,  and  probably  the 
reason  for  it  was  the  wildness  of  the  country  and  the 
frequency  of  fighting — not  only  against  the  'auld 
enemy '  but  amongst  themselves — to  which  the  per- 
fervidum  ingenium  Scotorum  naturally  lent  itself  on 
occasion  of  '  deadly  feud/ 

The  Lord  of  Douglas  in  the  time  of  his  pre-eminence 
is  said  usually  to  have  ridden  with  a  retinue  of 
1000  horse;  the  Scots  could  bring  500  men  to  the 
field  and  the  Kers  as  many  as  3000. 

In  the  Raid  of  the  Beidswire,  it  is  true,  we  read  of 


'500  Fen  wicks  in  a  flock,'  but  as  a  general  rule  the 
names  or  '  graynes '  in  England  were  neither  so 
numerous,  nor  so  powerful,  nor  so  homogeneous  as 
the  clans  in  Scotland,  for  the  English  throne,  as 
was  pointed  out  in  an  earlier  chapter,  was  the  more 
firmly  established,  and  after  the  Wars  of  the  Roses 
could  tame  any  rebellious  baron  without  difficulty, 
so  that  the  king  rather  than  the  chieftain  was  in 
England  the  bond  of  union. 

As  to  the  clans  inhabiting  the  Western  Border  of 
Scotland,  Edward  Aglionby  writes  to  Burghley  in 
1592  (Calendar  of  Border  Papers)  as  follows  : — 

'  The  countrie  of  Annendale  [Annandale]  is  stronge 
by  theire  great  and  many  surnames,  as  Maxwelles, 
Johnstons,  Armestronges,  Irwaines,  Bells,  and 
Carlelles  (Carlyles,  forbears  of  Thomas  Carlyle). 
Every  which  severall  surname  defende  their  owne.' 

As  for  Liddesdale,  '  it  is  the  most  offensive  countrie 
against  both  the  West  and  Middle  Marches.  The 
strength  of  this  countrie  consisteth  in  two  surnames 
of  Armest ranges  and  Elwoodes  [Elliots]. 

'  Betwizt  Eske  and  Sark  dwelleth  the  surname  of 
Johnsons,  called  the  Johnsons  of  Greatney. 

'  Above  them  dwelleth  Kinmont  and  Armestronge, 
and  about  him  dwelleth  an  hundred  able  men  all 
Armestronges.  About  Kirtle  is  a  surname  of  Irwyns, 
a  surname  of  proper  men. 

THE  <  NAMES,'  <  GRAYNES '  AND  CLANS      173 

'  Above  them  is  a  great  surname  of  Belles  and 
Carlilles,  who  hath  bene  longe  in  fede  with  the 

In  the  north  of  Annandale  dwell  the  Johnstones. 
'  Towardes  the  meetinge  of  Annan  and  the  water 
of  Milk,  and  of  both  sides  thereof  all  Loughwood, 
dwelleth  the  Lard  Johnson  and  c  c  c  sufficient  men 
of  his  name. 

'Towardes  and  above  Dumfrize  is  the  Lord 
Maxwell  and  Lord  Harrys  [Heries],  and  a  1000 
Mauxwelles  under  them.  They  have  bene  in  fede 
with  the  Johnsons  theis  many  years,  which  is  a 
weakeninge  of  Scotland  and  a  strength  to  England.' 

Then  for  the  English  opposite  march  he  gives  the 
following  list : — 

'  Upon  both  sides  of  the  river  Esk  dwell  the 
Grames,  which  is  the  greatest  surname  att  this  daie 
upon  the  Weste  Border.  For  the  Grames  of  Esk 
and  Leven  are  hable  to  make  v  c  serviceable  men. 
Theire  dwelleth  also  a  surname  of  Storyes,  but  they 
are  sore  decayed. 

'  Above  Kirklinton  dwelleth  a  great  surname  of 
Fosters,  and  about  Hethersgill  is  a  surname  of 

'In  Bewcastle,  theire  dwelleth  Fosters,  Crosers, 
and  Nixons,  but  sore  decaied. 

'  In  Gilsland  is  no  great  surname  :  the  Belles  is  the 


most.    Theire  is  a  surname  of  Milbournes  and  Hardens, 
but  they  are  not  many/ 

'  Brough. — Theire  is  four  surnames  theire,  Liddalles, 
Glasters,  Huntingdons,  and  Hodgesons,  but  theire 
is  not  many  of  none  of  them.' 

Musgrave  and  Salkeld. — '  The  greatest  surname  of 
the  gentlemen  within  the  Wardenrie  is  Musgraves 
and  Salkelds.' 

Aglionby  reports  of  Ewsdale,  that  '  they  are  a  civil 
people,  and  never  ride  in  England ' ;  and  again  of 
Teviotdale,  that  'it  does  never  offend  the  West 
Border,'  but  this  is  scarcely  a  certificate  of  character, 
for  Lord  Scrope,  the  West  Warden,  a  few  years  earlier, 
gives  in  a  note  of '  the  loosemen  in  the  Middle  Marche ' 
'300  gingles '  in  Ewsdale ;  and  in  East  and  West 
Teviotdale,  '  Trombles,  Oily veres,  Synsleves,  Bobsons, 
Davesons,  Yonges,  Burnes,  Pringles  3000';  and 
Carey,  in  writing  to  Burghley  in  1598  concerning 
the  Middle  March,  says,  'Those  of  Tyvidale  are  all 
great  riders  and  the  worst  men  in  the  country e.' 

On  the  English  side  on  the  Middle  March  you  will 
find  in  North  Tynedale  the  well-known  '  4  graynes ' 
of  Charlton,  Bobson,  Dodd  and  Milburn ;  in  Bedesdale 
there  were  Beeds  and  Halls  (between  whom  there 
was  an  ancient  feud,  see  the  '  Ballad  of  Parcy  Beed), 
Andersons,  Hedleys  and  Potts ;  while  in  Coquetdale 
the  Selbies,  Clennells,  Wilkinsons  were  the  chief 
names,  though  not  numerous  enough  to  found  clans. 


1K.'C\V  , 4. N.V •/.>./>.:/.>/•. 

Vulgo          S     O     L    W   A    Y 


We  may  conclude  this  chapter  with  a  list  of  the 
'  Names  on  the  Marches '  taken  from  the  Calendar  of 
Border  Papers,  under  date  July  1583. 

'  East  Marches  of  England.  Gentlemen — Forsters, 
Selbies,  Graies,  Strouders,  Swiners,  Mustians.  Sur- 
names— Johnsons,  Vardes,  Ourdes,  Wallisses,  Stories, 
Armestronges,  Dunnes,  Flukes. 

'  Scotland.  Gentlemen — Humes,  Trotters,  Brom- 
feilds,  Dixons,  Crews,  Crinstons. 

'  West  Marches  of  England.  Gentlemen — Mus- 
graves,  Loders,  Curwenes,  Sawfelde.  Surnames — 
Greames,  Butliches,  Armestrongs,  Fosters,  Nixons, 
Tailors,  Stories. 

'Scotland.  Maxwells,  Johnsons,  Urwins,  Grames, 
Bells,  Carlills,  Battison,  Litles,  Carrudders. 

'  Middle  Marches  of  England.  Gentlemen — Ogeles, 
Fenikes,  Hernes,  Withringtons,  Medfords,  Shafters, 
Ridleis,  Carnabies.  Surnames — (in)  Ridsdale.  Halls, 
Hedleys,  Andersons,  Potts,  Reades,  Dunnes,  Mil- 

'  Tindale — Charletons,  Dodds,  Milbornes,  Bobsons, 
Yaroes,  Stapletons. 

'Scotland.  Gentlemen — East  Teviotdale.  Carrs, 
Yongs,  Pringles,  Burnes,  Davisons,  Gilleries,  Tattes. 

'  Liddesdale  —  Budderfords,  Carrs,  Dowglasses, 
Trombles,  Scottes,  Piles,  Bobsons,  Halls,  Olivers, 
Ludlers,  Armestrongs,  Elwoods,  Nixons,  Crosiers, 
Turners,  Fosters.' 




'  Sir  Henry  Percy  laye  at  the  New  Castelle, 

I  tell  you  withowtten  drede  : 
He  had  byn  a  marsh-man  all  hys  dayes, 
And  kepte  Barwyke  upon  Twede.' 

'  The  Battle  of  Otterbourne.' 

Northumbrian  Minstrelsy. 

THE  various  payments  to  the  Wardens  vary  so  con- 
siderably that  no  definite  stipend  can  be  set  down ; 
the  rate  varied  with  the  differing  number  of  soldiers 
assigned  them  and  the  varied  allowances  and  escheats 
provided  for  them.  In  1527  the  Earl  of  Angus  had 
£100  for  the  East  March,  and  £100  for  the  West 
when  Warden  of  the  two  marches. 

The  payment  for  the  keeping  of  Liddesdale  seems 
high  when  we  read  of  £500  being  allowed  on  several 

Thus  though  the  Scots  west  Warden's  fee  was 
sometimes  no  more  than  £100,  the  Warden  in  1533 
— Lord  Maxwell — was  receiving  £100  per  month  for 
the  keeping  of  Hermitage  Castle  and  ruling  Liddes- 


dale,  and  again  five  years  later  he  is  only  receiving 
£106,  14s.  4d.  for  four  months'  keeping  of  Hermitage. 

At  various  times  a  special  governor  or  justiciar 
was  appointed  for  Liddesdale,  as  when  Queen  Mary 
in  1551  made  Sir  W.  Scott  her  governor  there  ;  he 
was  no  doubt  a  law  officer  rather  than  a  keeper,  and 
was  paid  by  the  amercements  and  escheats,  but  it 
appears  that  he  was  not  allowed  any  paid  soldiers. 

'  The  Keeper,'  or  Captain,  of  Hermitage  Castle  was 
the  deputy  of  the  Keeper  of  Liddesdale :  his  pay- 
ment seems  to  have  been  '500  merks,  with  5  chalders 
of  victual,  the  half  of  it  barley,  the  remainder  meal.' 
He  had  also  '  the  mains  of  Hermitage  and  the  keep- 
ing of  that  Castle  intrusted  to  his  charge,  where  he 
was  bound  to  lodge  prisoners  and  hold  the  fortress  at 
all  times  "  patent "  to  the  Sovereign  or  keeper  of  the 
County  for  the  time  being.'  See  Armstrong,  Liddes- 
dale, p.  11,  etc. 

Berwick,  as  it  was  the  most  important  charge  upon 
the  Border,  seems  to  have  been  liberally  provided  for. 

The  pay  at  Berwick  for  the  whole  garrison,  officers, 
and  governor  is  given  in  the  Border  Papers  for  the 
year  1593-4  as  £14,420,  8s.  9jd.,  and  in  1590  as 
£15,005,  including  payment  of  the  mayor's  fee,  £10, 
etc.  Again,  in  1557  the  yearly  pay  at  Berwick  is  set 
down  as  £22,662,  19s.  2d.  (p.  8). 

'  At  Berwick  for  the  old  and  new  garrisons,  Holy 



and  Feme  Islands,  10  gunners  at  Carlisle,  1  master 
gunner  and  his  mate  and  2  others  at  Wark.' 

There  was  a  further  addition  of  £10,914,  4s.  6d. 
for  the  '  Christmas  quarter,  captain  and  garrison  at 
Tynemouth,  and  500  workmen,  officers  and  others 
left  by  Sir  Richard  Lee  to  remain  all  winter.' 

Much  has  been  said  in  reproach  of  Queen  Elizabeth 
for  her  parsimony,  but  when  one  notes  the  constant 
drain  upon  her  resources  for  the  upkeep  of  the  Border 
garrisons,  castle  and  wardens,  her  subsidies  to  King 
James,  her  assistance  to  the  Netherlanders,  the 
charges  of  her  warfare  with  Spain,  one  will  reflect 
that  without  thrift  and  constant  economies  she  could 
never  have  kept  any  balance  in  hand  in  the  Ex- 
chequer, exhausted  as  it  had  been  by  the  extrava- 
gances of  her  father,  Henry  vui. 

The  governor's  pay  is  said  to  have  been  £1500  in  the 
case  of  Lord  Hunsdon,  but  this  would  seem  to  have 
included  the  Governor's  and  Captain  of  Norham's  fees 
as  well,  which  were  separate  charges ;  at  least  it  so 
appears  in  the  Book  of  Complaints  or  Tables  of  Abuses 
presented  unto  Queen  Elizabeth  by  the  Mayor  of  Ber- 
wick in  1592-3,  inculpating  Lord  Hunsdon's  govern- 
ment and  conduct.  (Calendar  of  Border  Papers.) 

'  Abuse  19  '  commences  as  follows  : — 

'While  formerly  there  were  (1)  a  lord  governor 
keeping  hospitality  in  the  town,  (2)  a  lord  Warden 


doing  like  in  the  Country,  and  (3)  a  captain  of  Nor- 
ham  entertaining  gentlemen's  sons,  and  keeping  house 
there,  now  these  offices  are  joined  in  one  man's 
person,  an  absentee,  who  spends  not  one  penny  of 
his  interteignment  and  proffytes' — above  £1500 — 'in 
this  place,  either  by  his  self  or  others — the  marshal 
serving  the  first  place — Sir  John  Selbee  the  second — 
and  Captain  Caree  the  third.' 

The  victualler  of  the  garrison  seems  to  have  had 
20s.  per  diem. 

The  marshal's  fee  was  £33,  6s.  8d.  per  annum,  the 
under-marshal's  £16,  two  tipstaves  £5,  6s.  8d.  each. 

As  to  the  garrison  at  Berwick,  Captain  Carey's  pay 
was  4s.  per  diem,  his  lieutenant's  2s.,  his  ensign, 
serjeant,  and  drum  Is.  each,  while  his  men — 100 — 
received  8d.  per  lunar  month.  Sir  William  Rede 
had  the  like  pay  and  company;  Captains  Selby, 
Carvell,  Twyfurth,  Tomson,  Yaxley,  Boyer  had  each 
2s.  per  diem,  whilst  their  companies  of  50  men  served 
at  8d.  per  lunar  month. 

The  horsemen  seem  to  have  had  8d.  per  diem, 
and  there  were  in  addition  gunners,  artificers  in  the 
ordnance,  and  sundry  pensioners — 73 — who  were 
apparently  usually  selected  by  way  of  favour  or 
reward  from  the  existing  garrison. 

Pay  of  the  Treasurer  (Mr.  Robert  Bowes)  (Calendar 
of  Border  Papers,  vol.  i.  p.  368): — 


His  fee  was  £260,  but  there  were  allowances  both 
ordinary  and  extraordinary,  such  as  house  rent, 
postage  money,  'fee  upon  the  works/  allowance  for 
munition,  etc.,  so  that  in  all  for  1590  the  total  comes 
to  £580,  3s.  4d. 

The  west  Warden  at  Carlisle,  on  the  other  hand, 
seems  to  have  received  much  less  than  his  brother 
Warden  on  the  east,  for  Lord  Scrope  had  apparently 
only  £645,  9s.  lOd.  as  his  fee,  from  which,  again,  300 
marks  have  to  be  deducted  for  the  fee  of  the  Captain 
of  the  Castle. 

This  is  shown  by  Lowther's  letter  to  Burghley  in 
1592.  *  I  do  fynde/  he  writes,  'that  the  wholl  fees  to 
the  Lorde  Scrope  for  the  place  amounted  unto  v  j  c. 
XLVLv.  IXs.  Xd.  quad,  all  which  I  take  to  belonge 
to  the  wardenry  excepte  300  markes  and  the 
growndes,  which  I  know  were  the  distinct  fees  to  the 
captain  of  the  Castell  and  the  Cyttie.  The  cittedell 
is  a  separate  chardge  and  the  same  with  the  fees 
belonginge  are  graunted  unto  Mr.  Dalston,  who  en- 
joyeth  the  same.  I  do  not  of  myselfe  knowe,  neither 
can  I  learne  whither  the  late  Lorde  Scrope  had  the 
chardge  of  the  municion  and  artillerie  here  distinctlie 
for  him  selfe,  or  under  the  Master  of  the  ordenaunces 

1  The  Wardenship  of  the  Western  March  and  Captaincy  of  Carlisle  were 
separate  offices,  though  occasionally  held  by  the  same  individual,  but 


By  Queen  Elizabeth's  Commission  in  the  fifth  year 
of  her  reign  Lord  Scrope's  fee  and  wages  are  thus  set 
down : — 

'  And  further '  (in  addition  to  the  usual  appurten- 
ances, liberties,  commodities,  advantages,  profits, 
and  all  other  appendages)  '  we  grant  to  the  said 
Lord  Scroope,  for  the  exercise  of  the  Wardenship 
aforesaid :  so  long  as  in  that  office  he  shall  remain, 
the  fee  and  wages  of  600  marks  by  the  year  for  him- 
self, and  his  2  deputies  aforesaid,  that  is  to  say,  for 
either  of  them  by  the  year  £10,  and  also  for  the 
said  2  officers  called  Warden  Serjeants  of  the  West 
Marches,  for  either  of  them  yearly  40s.  during  our 
pleasure  aforesaid :  to  be  paid  at  the  feasts  of  St. 
Michael  the  Archangel  and  the  Annunciation  of  the 
Blessed  Virgin  Mary,  by  equal  portions,  out  of  our 
treasury,  at  the  receipt  of  our  exchequer  at  West- 
minster, by  the  hands  of  the  treasurer  and  chamber- 
lain, there  for  the  time  being.' 

Elsewhere  mention  is  also  made  of  three  porters  at 
26s.  8d.  per  annum  each,  of  a  trumpeter  at  16  pence 
per  day,  and  a  surgeon  at  12  pence. 

The  'usual  appurtenances,  liberties,  commodities, 
advantages,  profits  and  all  other  appendages'  men- 

apparently  were  conjoined  from  the  time  of  Queen  'Mary,  for  he  further 
writes,  'So  as  I  cannot  perceive  that  the  2  said  offices  were  unyted  by 
graunte  and  patente  untill  in  the  time  of  Quene  Marie.'  (Calendar  of 
Border  Paper t.) 


tioned  above  as  belonging  to  the  Warden  were 
considerable,  comprising  tithe  corn,  fishing  rights, 
various  stewardships,  receipts  from  Crown  lands  and 
so  forth,  inasmuch  as  the  Warden  was  a  chief  officer 
and  representative  of  the  Crown. 

No  doubt  the  Governorship  of  Berwick — which 
was,  as  Queen  Elizabeth  said,  '  the  chief  jewel  in  her 
crown ' — and  the  Wardenship  on  the  East  March  were 
more  important  charges  than  the  corresponding  com- 
mands on  the  West,  for  the  former  were  more  directly 
concerned  in  any  hostilities  between  the  two  king- 
doms, whereas  the  latter  had  chiefly  to  protect  the 
country  against  the  invasions  of  the  Annandale  thieves 
and  the  invasions  of  the  Armstrongs  and  Elliots  from 
the  '  swyres '  of  Liddesdale. 

The  fees  of  the  Warden  of  the  English  Middle 
March  are  given  in  the  case  of  Sir  John  Forster 
(appointed  1560),  being  set  down  in  the  Calendar  of 
Border  Papers  under  date  1595. 

'  Grant  of  the  office  of  Warden  of  the  English 
Marshes  towards  Scotland/  viz.  'in  partibus  de  le 
Myddle  Marches  ac  in  dominio  Scocie,  nenon  custodie 
de  le  Tynedale  at  Riddesdale/  '  to  Sir  John  Forster 
knight  by  the  Queen's  letters  patent  dated  4th  Nov., 
2nd  Eliz.  with  wages  and  fees  of  £300  yearly,  also 
£10  each  for  two  deputies  under  him  in  said  marches, 
and  40s.  to  each  of  two  warden  sergeants  therein ; 


all  during  Her  Majesty's  pleasure,  payable  yearly  at 
the  feasts  of  the  Annunciation  of  the  Blessed  Virgin 
Mary  and  St.  Michael  Archangel  by  equal  portions — 
in  all  £324.  Also  the  said  Warden's  fee  for  keeping 
the  Castles  of  Tynedale  and  Ryddesdale,  £26,  13s.  4d. 
yearly.  The  fee  of  the  said  Sir  John  Forster  as  bailiff 
and  receiver  of  the  issues,  etc.,  of  the  barony  of  Bywell 
and  lordship  of  Bulbecke  (parcel  of  the  possessions  of 
the  late  Earl  of  Westmorland  attained)  £6,  7s. 
yearly  during  pleasure,  under  the  Queen's  letters 
patent  of  12th  July,  13  Eliz.' 

Lord  Eure,  the  Middle  March  Warden,  who  suc- 
ceeded Sir  John  Forster,  writes  to  the  Queen  in 

'As  the  Warden  must  strengthen  his  own  people 
to  his  great  charge,  that  her  highness  would  increase 
the  fee  of  £500  formerly  granted  to  Sir  Wm.  Eure 
my  great  grandfather,  my  grandfather,  to  the  Lord 
Wharton,  and  my  father,  etc.,  to  perfect  the  services, 
and  grant  me  "Styford  demayne"  and  other  things 
which  Sir  John  had  by  her  gracious  favour  to  better 
his  estate  in  service.' 

He  also  craves  the  parsonage  of  Simonburn,  which 
his  grandfather  had,  promising  to  keep  a  preacher 
there,  and  also  a  house  in  Hexham  to  lie  in  with  his 
men  if  Sir  John  Forster's  is  not  available.  (Calendar 
of  Border  Papers,  vol.  ii.  p.  58.) 


As  for  the  fees  of  a  Deputy- Warden,  we  find  that 
Sir  John  Widdrington,  Deputy- Warden  of  the  Middle 
March  in  Henry  vin.'s  reign,  received  £183,  6s.  8d., 
and  that  the  Keeper  of  Redesdale  received  £26, 
13s.  4d.,  while  for  the  similar  office  in  Tynedale  the 
fee  is  given  at  £30,  which  seems  to  have  been  ap- 
portioned as  follows : — 

The  steward,  £6,   13s.   8d.      The  receiver,  £6, 

13s.  8d. 

The  bailiff,  £13,  6s.  8d.    The  gaoler,  £1,  6s.  8d. 
Two  Serjeants,  £1,  6s.   8d.,  and  the  woodward, 
13s.  4d. 

There  were  other  subordinate  officials — men  of 
standing  in  the  countryside — who  seemed  also  to 
have  received  fees  with  a  view  to  helping  to  keep 
order  in  the  countryside.  Thus,  within  the  district 
of  Redesdale,  John  Hall  of  Otterburn  received  £10 
in  the  time  of  King  Henry  vin.,  his  duty  being 
apparently  to  assist  the  keeper  in  maintaining  the 
peace  and  bringing  thieves  to  justice. 

Finally,  in  Scotland,  where,  as  will  be  shown  in 
Chapter  XIIL  Part  ii.,  there  were  sundry  local  juris- 
dictions and  baronial  rights,  the  warden-deputes  and 
stewards  were  sometimes  paid  by  means  of  teinds 
(tithes)  and  other  such  charges. 

Thus  in  the  Appendix,  No.  2,  of  Leges  Marchiarum 
we  read  of  the  following  grants  or  maintenances  : — 


'The  Laird  of  Howmaines,  the  Stewart  Depute, 
and  therefore  to  have  the  Teynds  of  Smalholme 
yearly,  and  the  Laird  of  Newbie  to  the  [be  ?]  Warden 
Depute,  and  therefore  to  have  50  m.  given  him  yearlie 
of  Drumdanane,  as  their  tacks  specifies  at  this  present. 
Therefore  they  to  be  called  the  Deputes  with  the 
assistance  of  other  famous  and  wise  gentlemen  of  the 
Countree  of  Annandale,  as  is  needful.' 

Also,  of  the  maintenance  of  the  Keeper  of  the 
House  of  Howdam  : — 

'  This  man  to  have  ane  rental  given  him  of  the  hail 
lands  of  Annandale,  belonging  to  the  Lord  Maxwell, 
and  the  house  of  Terregles,  and  to  be  Chamberlain  to 
their  hail  lands,  and  to  uplift  their  hail  dutys :  and 
that  all  men  dwelling  on  the  said  lands  serve  with 
him  at  all  times,  when  they  shall  be  charged.' 




'  Lord  Buckcleugh  into  the  Scots  Border 
Was  high  Lord  Warden,  to  keep  them  in  good  order  ; 
On  that  border  was  the  Armstrangs  able  men, 
Somewhat  unruly,  and  very  ill  to  tame.' 

History  of  the  Name  of  Scot. 

The  Office  of  Guardian  or  Warden 
GUARDIAN  is,  of  course,  the  same  word  as  Warden, 
Gardianus  in  the  Latin  becoming  Warden  in  English. 
Yet  Custos  seems  to  have  been  an  earlier  term  than 
Gardianus,  in  regard  to  the  marches,  where,  as  Dr. 
Hodgkin  pointed  out  in  his  Creightonian  Lecture, 
'  The  Wardens  of  the  Northern  Marches,'  the  duty  was 
at  first  a  military  one,  the  Warden  being  the  locum 
tenens  of  the  King.  Custos  implies  the  safe  keeping 
of  some  object  or  other  committed  to  your  charge, 
but  as  in  that  age  safe  keeping  involved  fighting, 
Gardianus — a  term  more  suggestive  of  warfare — 
came  to  be  the  name  of  the  King's  representative 
on  the  marches. 

Thus  in  its  first  signification  the  Wardenship  of 
the    Marches    meant    the    warding    or    keeping    of 


Scotland,  which  Edward  i. — regarding  that  kingdom 
as  his  own  —  had  determined  wholly  to  subject 
beneath  him;  but  after  the  year  1328,  when 
Scottish  independence  was  definitely  recognised,  the 
Wardenship  came  to  mean  these  three  things — the 
warding  of  the  Border  country,  whether  by  defence 
or  offence,  the  keeping  of  the  Border  Laws,  and  the 
punishment  of  malefactors. 

They  held  their  power  per  baroniam,  and  against 
them  the  King's  writ  did  not  run,  whilst  in  their 
administration  of  justice  they  were  subject  only  to 
their  King. 

Concerning  the  later  duty  of  the  Lord  Warden, 
Edward  Aglionby,  in  a  letter  giving  Burghley  informa- 
tion about  the  '  Severall  charge  of  the  West  Borders  of 
England  and  Scotland  '  in  1592  (Calendar  of  Border 
Papers),  writes  as  follows  : — 

'  The  Warden  hath  charge  as  generall,  in  all  affaires 
under  her  Majestie  for  the  lawes  of  Marches,  according 
to  the  ancient  Border  lawe,  and  severall  newe  treatisse. 
His  deputie  is  one  of  the  Wardens  owne  appointinge, 
who  hath  in  charge  all  particular  service,  either  for 
defence  of  England,  or  offence  of  Scotland. 

'  In  defence  of  England,  as  when  any  sodden  rode, 
or  secreat  thift  made  by  any  Scottes  or  Englishe 
borderers,  to  be  readie  upon  the  first  shout  or  fray, 
with  a  score  at  the  least  of  the  Wardens  men,  to 


followe  to  where  the  fray  is,  or  to  ride  betwixt  them 
and  home,  as  the  service  requires.  In  offence  of 
Scotland — when  the  Warden  doth  make  any  rode, 
to  go  with  a  competent  number  and  take  a  boutie  in 
Scotland ;  and  that  is  called  a  Warden  rode.' 

Later  again  their  duties  came  to  include  political 
functions,  for  they  had  frequently — when  war  was 
toward,  or  fear  arose  of  foreign  influences  prevailing 
in  Scotland — to  do  a  considerable  amount  of  secret 
service  work,  and  make  reports  to  the  Foreign  Office 
of  the  day,  viz.  to  the  Secretary  of  State,  or  the 
King's  favourite  minister.  One  even  hears  of  a 
Warden  rifling  the  despatch  bag  of  the  French  agent 
on  his  way  to  Edinburgh.1  Thus  in  Elizabeth's 
reign  Robert  Bowes  was  not  only  Treasurer  of 
Berwick  but  Ambassador  for  the  Queen  at  Edinburgh 
during  great  part  of  seventeen  years.  'The  three 
Border  wardens/  wrote  the  late  Mr.  Joseph  Bain, 
the  able  editor  of  the  Border  Papers  (vol.  i.  Intro- 
duction), 'in  addition  to  their  proper  duties,  were 
also  charged  with  secret  and  confidential  enquiries, 
so  far  as  their  ability  extended,  into  the  internal 

1  When  Henry  vm.  sent  Sir  Ralph  Sadler  in  1540  to  the  Court  of 
Scotland,  he  supplied  him  with  a  letter  of  Cardinal  Beaton  to  his  agent 
in  Rome,  which  King  Henry  pretended  had  been  left  accidentally  by 
the  Cardinal's  servant  in  the  north  of  England,  after  he  had  been  driven 
ashore  in  a  tempest.  In  reality,  the  packet  had  been  taken  by  force 
from  Brunston,  the  Cardinal's  agent,  by  John  Horsley,  Captain  of 


affairs  of  Scotland,  as  well  as  the  intercourse  of  its 
rulers  with  the  Continent,  especially  with  France 
and  Spain ;  and  the  long  reports  on  these  subjects, 
which  they  from  time  to  time  forwarded  to  the 
Secretaries  of  State,  are  abundant  evidences  of  the 
efficient  manner  in  which  they  discharged  these 
onerous  duties.  They  were  compelled,  in  truth,  to 
be  not  less  familiar  with  the  pen  than  the  sword.' 




'Wei  sayd  the  erle  when  I  was  sworne  Warden  of  the  Marches,  you 
yourself  told  me,  that  I  might  with  my  staffe  arrest  all  men  under  the 
degree  of  a  Kynge,  and  now  I  am  more  stronger,  for  I  have  a  commision  so 
to  do  which  you  have  sene.' 

The  Earl  of  Northumberland's  reply  to  Wolsey 
when  he  arrested  him  for  high  treason. — Hall, 
Triumphant  Reigneof  Kyng  Henry  the  VIII. 

THE  first  institution,  then,  of  the  office  of  Warden 
appears  to  belong  to  the  reign  of  Edward  L,  and  the 
original  duty  of  guarding  or  keeping  those  parts  of 
Scotland  upon  which  he  had  already  laid  his  hands 
was  probably  first  exercised  by  Walter  de  Hunter- 

Thus  Walter  de  of  Huntercombe, 
Oxon,  was  made  Governor  of  Edinburgh  Castle, 
1296-98,  and  of  the  Sheriffdoms  of  Lothian,  viz. 
Edinburgh,  Linlithgow,  and  Haddington,  also  Warden 
of  the  Marches  towards  Northumberland. 

He  had  early  seen  service  on  the  Welsh  Marches, 
being  summoned  to  the  first  expedition  against 
Lewelin,  Prince  of  Wales,  and  in  the  Scottish  wars 


again  he  was  summoned  to  attend  the  muster  at 
Norham  in  1291,  and  at  Carlisle,  York  and  Berwick, 
1299-1310.  Also,  we  find  in  1299  Gilbert  de  Umfre- 
ville  made  a  Commissioner  for  manning  and  fortify- 
ing the  castles  and  strongholds  of  Scotland,  and  for 
appointing  Wardens  of  the  Marches. 

Again,  John  St.  John  of  Halnaker,  that  well- 
known  commander,  was  appointed  by  Edward  his 
Lieutenant  in  the  Counties  of  Cumberland,  West- 
moreland, Lancaster,  Annandale,  and  all  the  Marches 
unto  the  boundaries  of  the  County  of  Roxburgh  in 
1300,  and  in  1301  was  made  Warden  of  Galloway. 

John,  Earl  of  Warenne,  was  Guardian  (Warden) 
and  Lieutenant  of  Scotland  in  1296-97,  '  custodem 
nostrum  totius  regni  et  terrae  Scotiae,'  and  further, 
Edward  i.  appoints  Henry  de  Percy  'custodem 
nostrum  totius  terrae  Galwediae  ac  comitatus  nostri 
de  Air'  (Ayrshire),  and  after  Edward's  death  in 
1307  the  Earl  of  Pembroke  was  appointed  to  the 

'The  first  Lord  Warden  of  the  marches,'  write 
Burn  and  Nicholson  in  their  History  of  Westmorland 
and  Cumberland,  '  of  whom  we  have  had  any 
authentic  account,  was  Robert  de  Clifford,  Lord  of 
Westmorland,  and  hereditary  sheriff  of  the  same : 
of  whom  the  Countess  of  Pembroke's  Memoirs  take 
notice,  that  in  the  twenty- fifth  year  of  King  Edward 


the  First,  viz.,  1296,  the  said  Robert,  being  then  about 
twenty-three  years  of  age,  was  made  the  King's 
captain  and  keeper  of  the  marches  in  the  North 
towards  Scotland.'  If  the  words  *  keeper  of  the 
marches  in  the  North  towards  Scotland'  be  taken 
to  mean  the  English  Marches,  then  Clifford  may  be 
reported  the  '  first  Lord  Warden/  but  if  Scotland  is 
included  in  the  term,  Walter  de  Huntercombe  might 
dispute  the  title. 

Clifford's  office  was  probably  entirely  military,  for 
on  12th  July  1297  he  was  appointed  Captain  of  the 
Cumberland  fortresses,  and  ordered  to  invade  Scotland 
with  Henry  de  Percy,  and  a  little  later  in  the  same 
year  was  made  Captain  and  Guardian  of  the  Scots 
Marches  and  the  County  of  Cumberland. 

He  was  again  Warden  of  the  Scots  Marches  in 
Edward  ii/s  reign,  being  in  1308  appointed  Captain 
and  Chief  Guardian  of  all  Scotland  on  either  side  of 
the  Firths,  in  company  with  Robert  Umfreville,  the 
Earl  of  Angus. 

On  this  Western  March  the  Bishop  of  Carlisle  was 
frequently  joint  Warden  with  other  principal  Western 
Borderers,  and  in  1302  the  bishop  was  Governor  of 
Carlisle  Castle.  In  1341,  £200  was  ordered  to  be 
paid  the  bishop,  in  part  on  the  arrears  of  ,£529,  4s. 
for  the  wages  of  him  and  the  men  abiding  with  him 
for  the  safe  keeping  of  the  marches  against  Scotland. 


Again,  in  1309  the  Bishop  of  Carlisle  and  Thomas  de 
Lucy  were  jointly  and  severally  constituted  Wardens 
of  the  Western  Marches. 

The  following  is  a  table  of  the  various  Lord  Wardens 
General  of  the  Border,  and  also  the  Lord  Wardens 
of  the  East,  Middle,  and  Western  Marches,  both 
English  and  Scottish,  so  far  as  the  writer  has  been 
able  to  discover  them.  He  cannot,  however,  venture 
to  hope  that  it  is  complete.1  One  difficulty  is  that 
the  Deputy- Wardens  are  frequently  styled  Wardens  ; 
sometimes  in  old  writers  the  Captains  and  Marshals 
of  Berwick-upon-Tweed  are  so  alluded  to,  and  very 
frequently — especially  on  the  Scottish  side,  and  on 
their  Western  March  particularly — the  Wardens  are 
changed  with  bewildering  suddenness.  This  was  the 
consequence  of  clan  feuds  in  part;  also  because  of 
English  pressure  or  of  English  trafficking  with  the 
insurgent  Scots  Lords. 

1  William  Selby,  writing  to  Burghley  in  1598  (Calendar  of  Border 
Papers),  gives  the  names  of  a  number  of  recent  Wardens  on  the  East 
March,  concerning  one  or  two  of  whom  one  knows  nothing. 

'Sir  Wm.  Ewrie,  great-grandfather  to  this  Lord  Ewrie,  and  Lord 
Warden  of  the  East  March  ;  Sir  Nicholas  Stirling  was  next  Warden,  then 
Lord  Ewrie,  this  Lord's  Father,  next  Lord  Conyers,  and  then  Lord 
Whartoun,  in  which  Lord's  time  the  2  yeares  warres  began :  during 
which  the  Earl  of  Northumberland  was  Lord  Warden,  and  afterwards  Lord 







Sir  James  Douglas  ('  The 
Good '  or  '  Black  Doug- 
las '). 


Sir      William     Douglas 
(Knight  of  Liddesdale, 
In  1364  and  from  1368  to    '  '  the   Flower  of   Chiv- 
his  death  in  1400  airy  ')• 

Sir  Archibald  Douglas 
'the  Grim'  (Earl  of 
Douglas  in  1385 — said 
to  have  codified  the 
Laws  of  the  Marches) 

In  1400 

Archibald    ('The    Tynem  an '),  4th  Earl  of  Douglas, 
parently,  and  of  East  M  arch. 

James  'the  Gross,'  7th 
Earl,  who  died  in  1443, 
sometime  Warden.  1433 

William    Douglas,     2nd 
Earl  of  Angus. 


William,  1st  Earl  of 
Douglas,  joint  Warden 
with  the  Earl  of  March. 

and  of  East  March. 
Lord  Warden  General  ap- 


William,  8th  Earl  of  Doug  1 
n.  in  Stirling  Castle  in 

James,  9th  Earl,  succeeded 
his  brother,  but  was  for- 
feited in  1455,  after 
which  the  Wardenship 
was  no  longer  hereditary 
with  the  Douglas  family. 

In  1456 

Sir  Andrew  Stewart, 
Laird  of  Avondale. 

as,  Lord  Warden  of  all  the 


Sir  Alexander  Home. 
George,  Earl  of  Angus. 

Marches,  killed  by  James 






Robert  de  Clifford, '  Keeper  of  the  Marches  in  the  nor  th  towards  Scotland.' 

In  1327 
Earl  of  Surrey,  Lord  War  den  General. 


Henry,  2nd  Baron  Percy, 


Ralph,  4th  Lord  Neville,  a  nd  Lord  Percy,  Joint  Warjdens  General. 

1352,  etc. 
Henry,  3rd  Lord  Percy, ; 

Henry,  4th  Lord  Percy  and 

Lord  Warden  General 

ac  ted  as  Lord  Warden  Gener  al. 


Roger  de  Clifford. 


Ralph,  5th  Lord  Neville, 
joint  Warden  of  East 
and  West  Marches. 


Thos.  de  Clifford,  and 
Ralph,  6th  Lord  Neville 
and  1st  Earl  of  West- 
moreland (he  was  sole 
Warden  after  Hotspur's 
death  in  1403). 



1st  Earl  of  Northumberla  nd,  Warden  General. 

In  1368 

Ralph,  5th  Lord  Neville 
on  commission  for 
custody  of  East  March, 
later  sole  Warden,  died 


Hotspur,  associated  with 
his  father,  and  Warden 
of  East  and  West 






In  1468 

The  Earl  William  Douglas 
at  Lincluden  renews 
and  promulgates  the 
Laws  of  March  pre- 
viously drawn  up  by 
'  Archibald  the  Grim ' 


William   Douglas 


In  1475 

Alexander,       Duke 


James,  Earl  of  Buchan. 


Patrick  Hepburn,  Earl  of 


Walter  Ker  of  Cesford. 


Ralph  and  Andrew  Ker. 

Alexander,  3rd  Lord  Horn  e,  Lord  Warden  General, 
the  ran  at  Flodden. 

Earl    of    Bothwell,    Lord 

Anthony     Darcy,      Lord 

1517  by  Home  of  Wedd  erburn. 

Lord  MaxwelL 

Warden    General    of  all 


Sir  Robert  Ker. 


Sir    Andrew      Ker      of 

Warden    General    of   all 


Alexander,  Lord  Home. 


Archibald,    5th    JEarl    of 
Angus  ('Bell-the-cat'). 

Alexander  Hume  of  that 


Patrick  Hepburn,  Earl  of 


commanded  with  Huntly 

the  Marches. 

the    Marches,    slain    in 







Edward,  Duke  of  York. 


Richard,  Earl  of  Salisbury. 


Henry,  3rd  Earl  of  Northumberland,  Lord  Warden 


Warwick  '  the  King- 
maker,' associated  with 
his  father,  the  Earl  of 

Richard,  Duke  of  Gloucest  er,  Lord  Warden  General. 

Henry  Percy,  4th  Earl  of 

of  Middle  and  East. 

Henry,  Duke  of  York,  Lor  d  Warden  General. 


Thomas,  Lord  Dacre. 


The  Earl  Marshal. 


John,    afterwards     Duke 
of  Bedford. 


Henry,  2nd  Earl  of  Nor- 


Earl  of  Salisbury. 


Earl  of  Northumberland 



Henry,  3rd  Earl  of  Nor- 


John  Neville,  Lord  Mon- 

Northumberland,  Warden 


Henry  Percy,  5th  Earl  of 







Robert,  Master  of  Max- 


Lord  Maxwell  (see  Dacre). 

Sir  John  Maxwell. 


Sir  James  Douglas. 


Earl  of  BothwelL 


Sir  John  Maxwell. 


The  Lord  Maxwell,  re- 
appointed  Warden. 


Earl  of  Angus,  and  Lieut.  - 

The  Laird  of  Johnstone, 
and  in  1584  appointed 
Lieutenant  of  West 
Marches,  Nithsdale, 
Galloway  and  Liddes- 
dale,  and  Provost  of 

Earl  of  Arran  was  Lord 


Archibald  Douglas,  6th 
Middle  and  East  March 
Queen  Dowager). 


Sir  Walter  Scott  of  Buc- 


James,  Earl  of  Bothwell, 
and  Lieutenant  of  the 
Marches  of  Scotland. 


Sir  Walter  Ker  of  Ces- 

Earl  of  Angus,  Warden  of 
es    (m.    Margaret   Tudor 

Alexander,       5th      Lord 

jreneral     over     all     the 


W.  Ker  (also  Keeper  of 


Sir  Thos.  Ker  of  Fernie- 
hurst  (also  Keeper  of 

Warden  General  of  all  the 


Sir  James  Home  of  Cow- 



Alexander,  6th  Lord  and 
1st  Earl  of  Home,  and 
in  1603  Lord  Warden 








In  1523 
Henry  Percy,  5th  Earl,  Lor  d 


Henry  de  Clifford  (15th 
Baron,  son  of  the 
'Shepherd  Lord'),  1st 
Earl  of  Cumberland. 


Henry  Percy,  6th  Earl,  Lo  rd  Warden  General. 


Wm.,  Lord  Dacre.  1536 

Sir  Thos.  Percy. 


Lord  Scrope. 

Lord  Wharton.2 

Sir  R.   Bowes,1  and    of 


Sir    Ralph    Eure    (Lord 


Sir  Wm.  Eurie,  1st  Lord. 
Sir  N.  Stirley. 



Lord  Eure. 

1  Sir  Robert  Bowes  ('one  of  the  most  expert  Borderers')  was  Warden  of  East 
and  Middle  Marches,  and  drew  up  his  '  Book  of  the  State  of  the  Frontiers  and 
Marches  betwixt  England  and  Scotland,'  and  his  treatise  on  the  '  Forme  and  Order 
of  a  Day  of  Truce'  :  he  seems  to  have  continued  Warden  till  his  death  in  1554. 

2  Sir  Thomas  Wharton  (1st  Lord  Wharton),  held  to  be  another  of  'the  most 
expert  Borderers,'  was  one  of  the  most  energetic  of  all  the  Wardens  ;  he  was 
originally  Deputy  under  Lord  Scrope,  Captain  of  Carlisle  Castle,  victorious  at 
Sol  way   Moss  fight,  Warden  of  West  March,  then  in  1553   Deputy -Warden 
General  of  all  the  Marches  under  the  Duke  of  Northumberland,  when  he  took 
order  for  the  day  and  night  watches  to  be  kept  from  sea  to  sea  ;  finally  appointed 
to  the  East  and  Middle  Wardenries  till  his  death  in  1568.     He  was  buried  in 
Kirkby  Stephen  Church,  where  his  tomb  still  remains  in  good  preservation. 

3  Sir  Ralph  Ewrie  (Eure),  or  Lord  Ewrie,  of  the  ballads. 

'  Lord  Ewrie  was  as  brave  a  man 

As  ever  stood  in  his  degree ; 
The  king  has  sent  him  a  broad  letter, 

All  for  his  courage  and  loyalty. ' 

He  was,  as  Sir  Walter  Scott  says  in  the  Border  Minstrelsy,  '  one  of  the  bravest 
men  of  a  military  race.  He  was  son  of  the  first,  and  father  of  the  second  Lord 
Ewrie  ;  and  was  himself  created  a  Lord  of  Parliament  during  his  father's  lifetime, 
in  the  35th  year  of  Henry  vin.'  He  was  slain  in  the  Battle  of  Ancrum  Moor, 
1546,  and  buried  in  Melrose  Abbey,  where  'his  stone  coffin,'  continues  Sir 
Walter  Scott,  '  may  still  be  seen — a  little  to  the  left  of  the  great  altar.' 

He  was  Warden  of  the  Middle  March  at  the  same  time  that  his  father  was 
Warden  of  the  East  March. 






In  1587 

W.  Maxwell,  Lord  Herries. 


Sir  John  Carmichael  (he 
had  been  Keeper  of 
Liddesdale  and  acted 
as  Warden  at  the  Raid 
of  the  Reidswire  in 

Lord  Maxwell  was  Warden. 

In  1592 

Earl  of  Angus. 

John,  Lord  Maxwell,  slain 

at    Dryfe     sands     by 

Johns  tones  in  1593. 


Laird  of  Johnstone. 


Sir  John  Carmichael 
again :  slain  by  the 
Armstrongs  in  1600 
on  his  way  to  hold  a 
Warden's  Court  at 
Lochmaban,  and  suc- 
ceeded in  his  office  in 
1600  by  the  Laird  of 


Alexander,  6th  Baron  and 
three  marches  of  Scotia  nd. 


W.  Ker  of  Cessford  (Pro- 
vost of  Jedburgh  and 
Keeper  of  Jed  forest), 
his  son,  Sir  Robert  Ker 
(afterwards  1st  Earl  of 
Roxburgh)  associated 
with  him. 

Duke  of  Lennox. 

1st  Earl  of  Home,  Lord 


Lord  Willoughby  d'Eresby . 


Sir  John  Cary  (2nd  son 
of  Lord  Hunsdon)  (pre- 
viously Marshal  of 
Berwick  and  Deputy 

Warden  General    of    the 









Wm.,  Lord  Dacre. 

Earl  of  Rutland,  Warden, 

and  of  East. 


Henry,  Lord  Dorset,  Lord 

Warden  General. 



Lord  Eure. 

Lord  Grey  of  Wilton. 


Sir  Thos.  Percy,  7th  Earl, 

also  of  the  East. 


Dudley,  Duke  of  Northum 

berland,  Lord  Warden  Ge 

neral    (Wharton,    Deputy 

Lord  Warden  General), 

then  Warden  of  Middle 

and  East  Marches. 


Sir  Ralph  Sadler,  also  of 

the  East. 



Sir  John  Forster. 


Henry,  Lord  Scrope,  9th 

Henry,    Lord    Hunsdon, 

Baron  Bolton,  Governor 

1st    cousin    to    Queen 

of     Carlisle,     received 

Elizabeth,  Lord  Cham- 

Mary Queen  of  Scots 

berlain,     Governor     of 

and  was  her  guardian 

Berwick.    In  1589  was 

at  Bolton. 

made      Lord      Warden 



General  and  Keeper  of 

Sir  R.  Lowther. 

Ralph,  Lord  Eure.1 




Thos.,  Lord  Scrope,  from 
whose  safe  keeping  in 
Carlisle    Castle    '  Kin- 
ruont  Will'  was  taken. 

Sir  Robert  Cary,  7th  and 
youngest  son  of  Lord 
Hunsdon,    and     after- 
wards    1st      Earl     of 

Monmouth,  brought  the 

news  of  Queen  Eliza- 

beth's death  to  James. 


The  Earl  of  Cumberland, 

Warden  of  the  West  and 

Middle  Marches  and  also 

Lieut.  -General  of  Cum 

berland,      Westmoreland, 

Northumberland         and 

town  and  county  of  Ne 


1  Ralph  (3rd  Lord  Eure,  Ewry  or  Evers),  succeeded  Sir  John  Forster,  but 
apparently  did  no  better,  and,  complaints  being  laid  against  him,  soon  resigned. 
From  various  letters  it  appears  that  his  father,  grandfather,  and  great-grandfather, 
Sir  W.  Eure  (1st  Lord  Eure),  had  all  been  Wardens  of  East  or  Middle  Marches. 


Between  1585  and  1595  there  are  no  fewer  than 
six  changes  in  the  Wardenship  of  the  Western 
March  of  Scotland.  (See  p.  193.) 

Finally,  in  the  case  of  certain  Wardens  represent- 
ing various  powerful  clans,  or  as  being  themselves 
conspicuous  for  courage,  daring  or  notoriety  of  any 
kind,  notes  have  been  appended  giving  further 
particulars  of  their  lives  or  families. 


1297.  Robert  de  Clifford,  Lord  and  Hereditary 
Sheriff  of  Westmoreland.  He  succeeded  to  the 
estates  of  his  grandfather  Roger,  and  also  to  the 
moiety  of  the  great  Yeteripont  or  Vipont  inheritance 
through  his  mother  Isabella.  He  was  the  founder 
of  the  north  country  branch  of  the  Clifford  family ; 
one  of  Edward  i.'s  most  able  soldiers  and  adminis- 
trators, he  took  Carlaverock  Castle,  and  was  made 
Captain  of  the  Scots  Marches  and  the  County  of 

In  1308.  Also  he  was  appointed  Captain  and 
Chief  Guardian  of  all  Scotland  on  either  side  of  the 
Firths,  in  company  with  the  Earl  of  Angus,  and  met 
his  death  on  the  field  of  Bannockburn.  It  is 
interesting  to  note  that  as  Hobert  de  Clifford  was 
the  first  Warden  on  the  West  March,  so  the  last 


Warden  of  the  same  March  was  his  descendant, 
'  George  the  Magnificant,'  the  last  Earl  of  Cumber- 
land, who  was  appointed  Warden  of  the  Middle  and 
West  Marches  by  James  VI.  and  I.  shortly  after  his 
succession  to  the  English  crown. 

1315.  Andrew  de  Harcla,  Warden,  and  later 
Governor  and  Earl  of  Carlisle. 

1334.  Henry  de  Percy  and  Ralph  de  Nevil  were 
jointly  and  severally  commissioned  to  execute  the 
office  of  Head  Wardens  of  the  Marches  in  the 
Counties  of  Northumberland,  Cumberland,  and  West- 

1336.  Gilbert  Welton,  Bishop  of  Carlisle,  and 
Thos.  Lucy,  Lord  of  Cockermouth,  Wardens. 

1370.  Thos.  Appleby,  Bishop  of  Carlisle,  Roger 
de  Clifford,  Anthony  de  Lucy,  and  Ranulph  de  Dacre 
were  commissioned  to  the  Wardenship. 

1374.  Bishop  Appleby,  Roger  de  Clifford,  Thos. 
de  Musgrave,  Alan  de  Heton  and  nine  others. 

1377.  Thos.,  Bishop  of  Durham,  Thos.,  Bishop  of 
Carlisle,  Edmund  Mortimer,  Earl  of  March,  Roger 
de  Clifford,  Ralph  de  Dacre,  Richard  de  Stafford, 
Henry  de  Scrope,  Thos.  de  Musgrave,  and  John  de 
Appleby,  Dean  of  St.  Paul's. 

1384.  Henry  Percy,  Earl  of  Northumberland,  was 

1388.     (Froissart  states  that   'the  Lord  Neville, 


who  had  commanded  the  defence  of  the  frontier  of 
Northumberland  for  five  years  against  the  Scots, 
was  dismissed  :  for  this  service  he  had  been  paid  by 
the  Counties  of  Northumberland  and  Durham  the 
sum  of  16,000  francs  annually. 

'  Sir  Henry  Percy,  being  appointed  in  his  stead  to 
the  command  with  a  salary  of  11,000  francs  annually, 
was  a  circumstance  which  created  much  animosity 
and  hatred  between  the  Percies  and  Nevilles,  who 
were  neighbours,  and  had  been  friends.') 

In  this  year  you  have  a  Warden's  fight,  viz.  the 
Battle  of  Otterburn,  for  the  English  Warden  was 
Hotspur,  while  the  Earl  of  Douglas  was  the  son  of 
the  former  Scots  Warden.  'Hotspur/  the  most 
renowned  of  all  the  Percies * — idolised  by  the  people 
and  immortalised  by  Shakespeare — may  justly  be 
regarded  as  the  hero  of  Northumberland,  for  he 
showed  throughout  his  short  life  that  passionate  love 
of  adventure  (the  'plucking  of  bright  honour  from 
the  pale-faced  moon '),  that  disdain  of  fear,  and  that 
disregard  of  consequences  which  one  regards  as 
typically  Northumbrian.  The  '  speaking  thick,  which 
Nature  made  his  blemish,'  alludes  no  doubt  to  the 
Northumbrian  burr,  which  tradition  asserts  Hotspur 

1  For  an  account  of  the  potent  Percy  family — the  most  powerful  Barons 
in  the  North  of  England,  and  for  some  centuries  Wardens,  and  Lord 
Wardens  General  of  the  Marches — the  reader  is  referred  to  A  History  of 
the  House  of  Percy.  Brenan.  (Freemantle.) 


to  have  originated  and  his  admirers  to  have  copied. 
His  opponent  at  the  Battle  of  Otterburn  in  1388 
was  of  course  that  '  sprightly  Scot  of  Scots,  Douglas, 
that  runs  o'  horseback  up  a  hill  perpendicular/  and 
in  that  famous  fight  the  typical  Scot  met  with  the 
typical  Northumbrian.  Douglas  indeed  was  the 
elder  by  some  years,  and,  emulous  of  the  younger's 
reputation,  successfully  challenged  Percy  at  the 
barriers  before  Newcastle,  and  defeated  his  forces  at 
Otterburn,  as  everybody  knows.  One  might  perhaps 
liken  the  Scot  to  the  elder  brother  of  the  Parable, 
and  the  Northumbrian  to  the  Prodigal,  and  you  can 
add  a  touch  of  superstition  in  Douglas  which  Hotspur 
would  certainly  have  scorned  : 

'  But  I  have  dream'd  a  dreamy  dream : 

Beyond  the  Isle  of  Sky, 
I  saw  a  dead  man  win  a  fight, 
And  I  think  that  man  was  I.' 


This  family,  renowned  in  battle  and  even  more 
renowned  in  matrimony,  was  for  many  years,  like 
the  Percy  with  which  they  intermarried,  engaged  in 
guarding  the  Border. 

Thus  in  1334  Ralph,  fourth  Lord  Neville,  brother 
of  the  '  Peacock  of  the  North,'  was  joint  Warden 
with  Percy.  He  was  one  of  the  victors  in  the  Battle 


of  Neville's  Cross,  and  was  buried  in  Durham 

His  son  John,  fifth  Lord  Neville,  was  in  1368 
on  the  Warden's  commission  for  East  March,  then 
Governor  of  Bamborough,  also  joint  Warden  for 
East  and  West  Marches,  and  finally  sole  Warden  of 
West  March. 

His  son  Ralph,  sixth  Lord  Neville  and  first  Earl 
of  Westmoreland,  was  joint  Warden  of  West  March 
with  Lord  Clifford's  eldest  son,  and  later  was  again 
appointed  Warden,  his  eldest  son  being  associated 
with  him.  He  was  twice  married,  and  had  in  all 
twenty-three  children :  his  second  wife  was  Joan 
Beaufort,  daughter  of  John  of  Gaunt,  and  his  eldest 
son  by  her  was  the  Earl  of  Salisbury,  father  of  '  the 
King-maker,'  in  whom  the  power  of  the  house 
reached  its  climax. 

The  sixth  Earl  of  Westmoreland,  by  joining  in  the 
'  Rising  of  the  North/  ruined  the  fortunes  of  the 
elder  branch  of  the  Neville  family,  for,  being  for- 
feited, he  lost  the  estates  of  Brancepeth  and  Raby. 


'  So  many,  so  good,  as  of  the  Douglases  have  been, 
Of  one  sirname  in  Scotland  never  yet  were  seen.' 

For  a  period  of  nearly  two  hundred  years,  only 
terminating  in  1452,  when  James  n.  despatched 


Willfam,  the  eighth  Earl,  in  Stirling  Castle  with  his 
own  hand,  the  history  of  Scotland  is  intimately  bound 
up  with  the  doings  of  the  House  of  Douglas. 

The  Wardenship  of  the  Marches  seems  to  have 
become,  like  the  Sheriffwick  of  Teviotdale,  an 
appanage  of  their  family ;  but  with  the  murder  of 
the  eighth  Earl,  and  the  forfeiture  of  James,  ninth 
Earl,  the  glory  of  the  elder  branch  departed.  Then 
the  younger  branch,  the  'Red  Douglas/  put  down 
'  the  Black,'  as  the  saying  ran ;  for  James,  having 
been  forfeited,  died  a  monk  in  Lindores  Abbey,  and 
George  Douglas,  fourth  Earl  of  Angus,  received  the 
ancient  Lordship  of  Douglas,  and  his  son,  Archibald 
'  Bell  the  Cat/  grew  to  be  as  powerful  as  his 
predecessors  of  the  elder  stock. 


'  Among  the  great  families  of  Cumberland/  writes 
Mr.  R.  S.  Ferguson  in  his  county  history,1  'the 
martial  house  of  Dacre  stands  out  the  most  prominent. 
So  far  back  as  ever  they  can  be  traced  they  are 
avrox^oves,  De  Dacres  of  Dacre.  The  first  that  is 
known  is  William  de  Dacre  of  Dacre,  Sheriff  of 
Cumberland  in  20,  Henry  in.,2  and  great-grandfather 
of  the  daring  and  lucky  young  wooer  who  carried  off" 
the  young  "  Lady  of  Gilsland." 

1  History  of  Cumberland.     (E.  Stock.)  2  Viz.  1173. 


'  The  Dacres, 

"  So  daring  in  love,  and  so  dauntless  in  war," 
are  ever  inseparably  connected  in  history  and  legend 
with  memories  of  Flodden,  of  Border  warfare  and 
Border  raids,  while  their  wild  slogan  of  "  a  Daker,  a 
Daker,  a  read  Bull,  a  read  Bull,"  was  ever  a  terror  to 
the  Scots,  as  their  banner  of  martial  red  with  its 
silver  escallops  was  ever  a  rallying-point  for  the 
English  bordermen.' 

Of  this  family,  three  appear  in  the  Wardens'  roll. 
Humphrey,  '  Lord  Dacre  of  the  North/  was  Warden 
of  the  West  March  in  second  of  Richard  in.,  but  it 
was  Thomas,  Lord  Dacre,  who  won  the  greatest  fame 
as  soldier  and  as  raiding  Warden.  He  commanded 
the  reserve  at  Flodden,  and  he  was  Warden  from 
1509  to  1525,  when  he  died. 

A  'malleus  Scotorum,'  he  thus  writes  in  1514  to 
the  Lords  of  the  Council,  '  There  was  never  so  mekill 
myschefe,  robbry,  spoiling  and  vengeance  in  Scotland 
then  there  is  nowe,  without  hope  of  remedy e;  which  I 
praye  our  Lord  God  to  continewe.' 

He  built  Askerton  Castle  and  Drumburgh  to  stay 
the  Scots  incursions  and  strengthened  Naworth. 

His  eldest  son  William,  Lord  Dacre,  was  frequently 
Governor  of  Carlisle,  and  also  Warden. 

His  grandson  dying  quite  young,  this  northern 
barony  died  out,  and  Naworth  with  its  broad  acres 


passed  to  the  children  of  Lord  William  Howard 
('  Bauld  Willie '),  who  married  Elizabeth  Dacre 
('  Bessie  wi'  the  braid  apron '). 


This  powerful  clan  attained  to  prominence  in  the 
sixteenth  century,  and  the  Wardenship  of  the  Scots 
Middle  March  was  throughout  that  time  almost  con- 
tinually in  the  hands  either  of  a  Ker  of  Ferniehirst 
or  a  Ker  of  Cesford. 

They  were  much  favoured  by  James  vi.  and  I.,  Sir 
Robert  Ker  (Sir  Robert  Carey's  enemy  and  friend — 
see  Carey's  Memoirs)  being  created  first  Earl  of 
Roxburgh,  and  his  cousin,  the  notorious  Robert 
Carr  (of  Ferniehirst),  being  made  Earl  of  Somerset. 
The  Earl  of  Ancrum,  the  Earl  of  Lothian,  and  Lord 
Jedburgh  also  were  derived  from  the  same  twin  stock. 

In  1514  Sir  Robert  Ker  of  Caverton  was  Warden 
of  the  Scots  Middle  March,  and  was  slain  at  a  Border 
meeting  by  the  bastard  Heron  and  two  other  English- 
men. His  son,  Sir  Andrew  Ker  of  Cesford,  was 
likewise  Warden ;  Sir  Andrew's  son  again,  William, 
was  also  Warden,  and  with  him  again  was  associated 
as  deputy  Sir  Robert  Ker,  his  son,  later  first  Earl  of 

In  1584  Sir  Thomas  Ker  of  Ferniehirst  had  super- 
seded William  Ker  of  Cesford  as  Keeper  ofLiddesdale 


and  Warden  of  Middle  March  and  Provost  of  Jedburgh, 
but  after  the  murder  of  Lord  Francis  Russell  at  the 
day  of  truce,  held  by  Ferniehirst  on  Windy  Gyle, 
Cesford  was  reappoiuted  Warden. 

Ferniehirst  is  said  to  have  been  able  to  bring  3000 
men  into  the  field,  and  as  a  great  partisan  of  Queen 
Mary  was  much  dreaded  by  the  English,  and  a  thorn 
in  the  flesh  to  Sir  John  Forster,  his  opposite  Warden. 

Their  family  burial-place  was  the  north  transept  of 
Jedburgh  Abbey,  where  several  headstones  com- 
memorate the  Wardenships  of  departed  Kers,  as,  for 
example,  that  of  Andrew  Ker,  who  was  Warden  of 
the  Middle  March,  was  knighted  and  died  in  1545  l ; 
that  of  Sir  John  Ker,  who  followed  his  father's 
example,  and  died  in  1562,1  and  that  again  of  his  son, 
Sir  Thomas  Ker,  opposite  Warden,  and  torment,  to 
Sir  John  Forster,  the  English  Warden,  as  above 

In  the  sixteenth  century  the  West  Wardenry  of 
Scotland  came  to  be  almost  exclusively  associated  with 
the  Maxwell  name,  but  on  two  occasions  it  was  given 
to  the  rival,  but  less  numerous,  clan  of  Johnstone. 

Thus  in  1585  the  Lord  Maxwell  was  dismissed  from 

1  The  headstones  bear  the  dates  1524  and  1559.     Our  ancestors  were 
remarkably  careless  as  to  dates,  as  is  well  known. 


the  Wardenship  of  the  West  March  of  Scotland,  and 
the  Laird  Johnstone  was  put  in  his  place  and  com- 
missioned to  apprehend  him. 

Subsequently,  Johnstone  was  defeated  and  taken 
prisoner,  and  shortly  after  Maxwell  was  reinstated  as 
Warden,  but  in  the  fight  at  Dryfe  Sands  Maxwell 
was  slain  by  the  Johnstones. 

Finally,  in  1608  Maxwell's  son  and  heir  assassinated 
Sir  James  Johnstone,  but  James  I.  succeeded  in  ap- 
prehending the  assassin,  and  caused  him  to  be  publicly 
beheaded  in  Edinburgh  in  1613. 


Sir  Walter  Scott  of  Buccleugh  and  Branxholme 
fought  at  Flodden  at  an  early  age,  was  one  of  the 
victors  at  Ancrum  Moor  battle,  and  became  Warden 
of  the  Middle  March  in  1550,  but  in  consequence  of 
the  '  deadly  feud '  between  Scott  and  Ker  he  was 
murdered  in  Edinburgh  in  1552. 

His  grandson  was  the  intrepid  Sir  Walter  Scott, 
the  Laird  of  Buccleugh  and  first  Baron  Scott,  who 
performed  '  the  last  great  Border  exploit '  by  breaking 
into  Carlisle  Castle  in  despite  of  Lord  Scrope  and 
carrying  off  'Kinmont  Will.'  He  was  married  to 
Margaret,  sister  of  Sir  Robert  Ker  (later  first  Earl 
of  Roxburgh),  and  with  him  was  styled  the  '  firebrand 
of  the  border.' 


In  1591  he  was  appointed  Keeper  of  Liddesdale, 
and  seems  to  have  been  allowed  the  higher  rank  of 
Warden,  and  to  have  treated  with  the  opposite 
Wardens  on  an  equal  footing.  Scot  of  Satchells 
writes  of  him  as  Warden  :— 

'  Lord  Buckleugh  into  the  Scots  Border 
Was  high  Lord  Warden  to  keep  them  in  good  order ' ; 

but  he  does  not  appear  to  have  had  a  commission  for 
the  Western  March. 

In  1604  he  went  over  into  the  Low  Countries  with 
a  company  of  two  hundred  men,  was  created  a  Baron 
in  1606,  and  died  in  1611. 


The  first  of  this  well-known  family — io  long  and 
intimately  connected  with  the  Wardenship  of  the 
East  March  —  to  be  appointed  Warden  was  Sir 
Alexander  Home  of  Home  in  1449,  and  in  that  same 
year  he  was  selected  as  one  of  the  guarantors  of  a 
treaty  with  England. 

His  eldest  son  again,  also  Sir  Alexander,  was 
Warden,  and  was  created  Lord  Home  in  1473. 

This  man's  grandson,  second  Lord  Home,  was 
appointed  Warden  of  the  East  March  in  1488  for 
seven  years. 

The  son,  third  Lord  Home,  was  Lord  High  Chamber- 
lain and  virtual  Prime  Minister  in  the  reign  of 


James  iv.,  and  thrust  James  on  in  his  quarrel  with 
England :  he  was  Warden  General  of  the  three 
Marches.  At  Flodden  he  commanded  the  van  with 
Huntley,  and  together  they  routed  the  wing  of  the 
English ;  and  then,  Border  fashion,  they  turned  to 
pillage,1  whilst  their  King  was  slain,  so  the  tradition 

In  1516  he  and  his  brother  were  executed  for 
treason,  and  their  brother  George,  fourth  Lord  Home, 
does  not  appear  to  have  been  Warden,  yet  he  died  in 
a  Border  fight,  and  his  son  Alexander,  fifth  Lord,  was 
appointed  Warden  of  the  East  March  and  ordered  to 
keep  Hume  Castle,  on  account  of  its  proximity  to  the 
Borders,  as  a  place  of  war. 

His  son  Alexander,  sixth  Lord  Home  and  first 
Earl  of  Home,  became  Warden  of  the  East  March  in 
1582,  and  took  a  prominent  part  against  Both  well. 

In  1599  he  went  abroad,  resigning  the  Wardenship ; 
and  in  1603,  accompanying  James  vi.  into  England, 
was  made  lieutenant  and  justiciary  over  the  three 

1  See  '  The  Souters  o'  Selkirk.' 

'  And  up  wi'  the  lads  o'  the  Forest, 
That  ne'er  to  the  Southron  wad  yield  ! 
But  Deil  scoup  o'  Home  and  his  menie 

,  That  stude  sae  abiegh  on  the  field.' 



1  The  King  he  wrytes  a  hiving  letter, 

With  his  ain  hand  sae  tenderly, 
And  he  hath  sent  it  to  Johnnie  Armstrong 
To  cum  and  speik  with  him  speedily.' 

'  Ballad  of  Johnnie  Armstrong. 
Border  Minstrelsy. 


The  Lord  Wardens  General  seem  to  have  been  chiefly 
appointed  for  the  purpose  of  taking  military  charge 
of  the  whole  frontier  in  case  of  war,  and  in  this 
respect  probably  had  the  same  powers  as  the  Royal 
Lieutenants,  who  were  specially  appointed  to  repre- 
sent the  King :  in  either  case  they  would  have  a 
special  commission,  and  appear  to  be  indifferently 
styled  Locum  tenens  or  Custos  generalis. 

When  Edward  iv.  in  1480  gave  his  commission  of 
lieutenancy  to  the  Duke  of  Gloucester,  he  granted 
him  full  authority  to  summon  '  omnes  et  singulos 
ligeos  et  subditos  nostros  tarn  in  merchiis  nostris 
versus  Scociam  quam  in  comitatibus  eisdem  merchiis 

Again,  in  1497,  when  the  Scots  invaded  England 
and  the  King  had  appointed  the  Earl  of  Surrey  his 
lieutenant  in  the  north,  Bishop  Fox  in  the  Palatinate 
requested  help  from  him.  Surrey  thereon  came  to 
Durham,  and  raised  a  large  number  of  men  in  that 


county  and  in  Yorkshire,  by  virtue  of  a  like  com- 

Again,  in  1522  the  King  appointed  the  Earl  of 
Shrewsbury  his  '  Lieut.  Gen.  of  all  the  north  parties 
for  agenst  Scotland/  '  forasmoche/  runs  the  commis- 
sion in  Rymer's  Foedera,  (  as  the  Kingis  Highnes  our 
Sovereigne  Lord  hath  sure  &  certeyn  knowledge  that 
his  auncient  enemyes  the  Scotts,  by  the  procuring 
&  Instigation  of  his  notorious  &  cruell  enemy  the 
Frenche  Kinge,  in  the  begginning  of  the  next  mony  th 
of  September  as  before,  entende  to  Invade  this  his 
Roialme  of  Englande,  &  not  only  to  sley,  spoil  & 
robb  his  subjects  &  People  of  the  north  Parties  & 
Merches  near  adjoynaunte  unto  the  same  Scottes  etc.' 

Occasionally  no  doubt  the  office  was  conferred  upon 
a  court  favourite  or  scion  of  the  Royal  House,  and 
may  have  been  a  sinecure. 

Thus,  when  Henry,  Duke  of  York,  was  appointed 
in  1495  titular  Gustos  Generalis  of  the  three  Marches, 
Thomas,  Earl  of  Surrey,  as  '  subcustos  et  viceguardi- 
anos'  performed  the  duties.  In  1482,  when  Richard, 
Duke  of  Gloucester,  was  appointed  Lord  Warden  General 
by  Edward  iv.  as  his  locum  tenens,  war  was  expected 
with  Scotland,  and  the  appointment  was  evidently  a 
military  one. 

The  great  nobles  of  the  north  as  the  years  went  on 
were  less  and  less  often  appointed  Lord  Wardens 


General,  partly  perhaps  owing  to  the  increase  of  the 
power  of  the  Crown,  partly  to  the  exceeding  responsi- 
bility of  the  office. 

When  the  Earl  of  Northumberland  in  Henry  vn.'s 
reign  '  indented  for  the  3  Marches  and  keeping  of  the 
Town  of  Berwick  upon  Tweed  in  time  of  war/  Bishop 
Fox  of  Winchester  held  it  was  too  expensive  a  charge 
for  one  man's  power  when  active  war  was  expected. 

Having  had  experience  of  '  Keeping  the  Borders ' 
when  as  Bishop  of  Durham  he  defended  Norham 
Castle  in  person  against  the  Scots  in  1497,  he  thus 
writes  and  advises  Cardinal  Wolsey  : — 

'  I  doubt  not,  my  Lord,  it  shall  be  right  necessary 
that  the  Kynges  Grace  make  a  Warden  for  the  Est 
and  mydle  marches,  for  it  shall  be  to  muche  for  any 
oon  persone  to  bere  the  burdeyn  of  all  3  marches  in 
the  tyme  of  werre ;  and  it  shal  be  right  expedient 
that  he  be  a  very  hable  man  that  shal  be  wardeyn  of 
the  said  Este  and  myddle  marches  in  the  tyme  of 
werre ;  for  uppon  the  Este  marche  shal  be  the  moste 
busynesse  of  the  werre ;  savyng  that  if  my  Lord 
Dacre  would  leve  his  sone  and  his  brother  uppon  the 
waste  marches,  wherby  the  Scottes  have  not  muche 
with  a  great  army  invaded  those  partes,  and  lodge 
hym  self  in  the  Este  marche,  in  myne  opinyon,  for 
the  great  experyence,  acquayntance  and  landes  which 
he  hath  in  Northumberland,  he  shuld  be  right  meit 


to  kepe  the  said  Este  and  mydle  marches ;  and  whoo 
soo  ever  shalbe  now  Warden  of  them,  he  ought  not  to 
looke  to  have  the  fees  that  the  said  Erie  of  Northum- 
berland had ;  seying  that  he  had  the  said  fees,  as 
above  is  said,  not  only  for  the  keping  of  the  said  Este 
and  mydle  marches,  but  also  for  the  keping  of  the  said 
towne  of  Berwick,  which  towne  is  no  we  in  the  Kinges 
hands  and  at  his  proper  costes  and  chargies :  and  in 
my  pouer  opynyon  the  fees  that  the  said  Warden 
shall  have  owght,  of  reason,  to  be  cessed  much  after 
the  nowmbre  of  the  souldyers  which  he  will  bynde 
hym  to  have  contynually  attendante  and  servinge  in 
the  werre  uppon  the  said  Borders.' 1 

In  furtherance  of  the  Tudor  plan  of  centralisation 
and  consolidation  of  the  royal  authority,  Henry  vin. 
initiated  the  Council  of  the  North,  and  appointed  in 
1522  a  commission  and  a  royal  lieutenant  to  govern 
the  north  of  England,  whereby  the  power  of  the 
Wardens  was  more  directly  controlled  by  the  court. 
'  This  plan  of  government,'  as  Dr.  Lapsley  says  in  his 
County  Palatine  of  Durham,  '  by  a  lieutenant  and 
council  continued  until  1525,  when  a  slight  modifica- 
tion was  made.  This  consisted  in  placing  the  north 
under  the  nominal  control  of  the  king's  natural  son, 
Henry  FitzRoy,  whose  council  carried  on  the  actual 
work  of  administration.  Henry  was  created  Duke 

1  Original  Letters  (Ellis),  cxiv.  vol.  i.  3rd  series. 


of  Richmond  and  appointed  the  King's  Lieutenant 
General  North  of  Trent.' 

The  Duke  remained  in  the  north  until  1532,  and 
during  that  period  his  council  governed  the  northern 
counties.  After  Richmond's  departure  his  council, 
known  now  as  the  '  Council  of  the  Marches,'  continued 
to  administer  the  north  in  co-operation  with  the  Duke 
of  Northumberland,  Lord  Warden  of  the  Marches, 
until  the  outbreak  of  the  Pilgrimage  of  Grace  in  the 
autumn  of  1536. 

In  Scotland  it  appears  that  the  Lord  Wardens  were 
not  granted  such  full  judicial  powers  in  their  various 
Wardenries  as  the  English  Wardens  were  wont  to 
exercise.  '  March  Treason/  in  the  technical  sense  of 
offences  against  the  Warden's  enactment,  as  has 
already  been  shown  in  Chapter  vn.,  is  not  much  met 
with  in  the  Scottish  records. 

Scots  Justiciars  and  Special  Lieutenants  were 
appointed  from  time  to  time,  with  especial  powers  to 
deal  with  malefactors,  fugitives  and  rebels,  by  the 
King,  and  not  infrequently  the  King  conducted  his 
own  justice  eyre. 

The  reason  for  this  was  probably  twofold,  due  in 
part  to  the  jealousy  of  the  King  in  regard  to  the  great 
powers  of  such  powerful  chiefs  as  the  Douglases,  and 
in  part  also  to  the  jealousy  of  the  great  nobles  against 
each  other. 


On  this  subject  Sir  Walter  Scott  wrote  thus  in  his 
Introduction  to  his  Border  Antiquities : — 

'  The  Scottish  Wardens  do  not  appear  to  have  held 
Warden  -  Courts,  doubtless  because  the  territorial 
jurisdictions  of  Sheriffdoms,  Stewartries,  Baillaries 
and  so  forth,  which  belonged  to  the  great  families  by 
hereditary  right,  and  the  privileges  of  which  they 
jealously  watched,  would  have  been  narrowed  by 
their  doing  so.  Besides,  the  Scottish  hereditary 
judges  possessed  the  dangerous  and  inconvenient  power 
of  repledging,  as  their  law  terms  it,  that  is,  reclaim- 
ing any  accused  person  from  courts  of  co-ordinate 
jurisdiction,  to  try  him  by  their  feudal  authority.' 

The  order  of  the  Stewart-Court  of  Annandale  is  set 
forth  in  the  Appendix  of  the  Leges  Marchiarum,  from 
which  we  quote  the  first,  fourth,  and  fifth  items.  '  In 
the  first,  it  is  thought  meet  for  the  Common-weel 
and  more  easie  Reformations  of  Wrongs  amongst  the 
Subjects  of  the  Realme,  that  ane  of  the  Court  Clerks 
of  the  said  Stewartry  sit  in  the  Tolbuith  of  Loch- 
maban  Ouklie  [weekly],  every  Thursday,  beginning  at 
8  hours  in  the  morning,  and  remaining  while  3  hours 
afternoon :  accompanied  with  2  or  3  Officers  of  the 
said  Stewartry,  for  directing  of  Precepts  upon  Com- 
plaints, as  follows. 

'  Item  4.  That  all  Actions  concerning  Chancellarie, 
as  serving  of  Brieves,  Entire  of  Airs  [entry  of  heirs], 

Division  of  Lands,  and  other  Pleys  concerning 
Heritage,  proceed,  and  be  decyded,  according  to  the 
Common  Law,  and  Practicque  of  this  Realme  estab- 
lished by  our  most  noble  Princes  of  before. 

'  Item  5.  It  is  appointed,  that  all  criminal  causes, 
sic  as  Assisters  with  England,  Resetters  of  them  and 
their  goods,  Committers  of  murder,  Fyre,  Ravishing  of 
Women,  Stouth,  and  sic  like,  to  be  committed  be 
themselves,  and  before  all  others  to  be  taken  order 
with,  be  an  famous  and  unsuspected  assize,  according 
to  the  ancient  Laws  of  the  Kealme.' 

The  stewart  is  elsewhere  styled  baron,  and  it  is 
evident  that  these  courts  of  hereditary  jurisdiction 
dealt  with  what  was  '  March  Treason/  and  in  England 
would  have  been  punished  by  the  Wardens. 

In  1445  it  was  ordained  by  the  estates  of  Scotland 
that  '  in  time  to  come  there  should  be  no  Wardanis 
on  the  Borders  made  in  fee  and  heritage.' 

Their  judicial  powers  seem  to  have  been  specially 
limited  by  their  commissions,  and  on  one  occasion  in 
the  sixteenth  century,  when  greater  powers  than  usual 
were  granted  by  James  vi.  to  Sir  John  Carmichael, 
Warden  of  the  West  March,  sundry  of  the  nobles 
protested,  and  some  reduction  was  conceded  to  them. 

The  following  is  quoted  from  a  commission  of 
governorship  and  justiciary  granted  by  Queen  Mary 
in  1551  to  Sir  William  Scot  of  Branxholm. 


It  ran  '  within  the  bounds  of  the  Lordship  of 
Liddesdale  and  Teviotdalehead,  and  wherever  the 
clans  of  Liddesdale  may  remain ;  with  power  to  hold 
Courts  at  Branxholm  and  Hawick  to  do  all  things 
competent  to  his  office  therein ;  and  to  destroy 
utterly  with  fire  and  sword  the  dwellings  of  those 
malefactors  who  cannot  be  apprehended.' 

Also,  we  may  quote  from  the  same  volume l : — 

'  The  Minutes  of  the  Court  of  Justiciar  of  our 
Sovereign  Lord  the  King  held  and  begun  in  the 
Castle  of  Armitage,  on  Friday,  15th  March  1537-1538 
before  Robert,  Lord  Maxwell,  Justiciar  of  our  Lord 
the  King  in  that  part,  by  his  commission  judicially 
shown  and  read,  specially  constituted :  suits  being 
called  and  the  Court  affirmed.'  Lord  Maxwell  seems 
to  have  been  the  Warden  of  the  West  March  as  well 
as  Keeper  of  Liddesdale,  and  yet  the  King's  commis- 
sion was  necessary  for  him  before  he  could  hold 
his  court. 

At  this  court  a  dempster  was  sworn  in,  also  two 
Serjeants,  and  the  business  seems  to  have  consisted 
in  taking  certain  pledges  of  the  Elliots  to  certain 
prisoners  to  take  their  trial  in  Edinburgh,  and  of 
sundry  others  for  the  keeping  of  the  peace  in 

The  Royal  Justiciars  and  Lieutenants  of  the  Border, 

1  Armstrong,  History  of  Liddesdale,  Appendix  li. 



then,  that  we  hear  of  in  the  Scots  records  were 
appointed  by  the  King  with  a  judicial  rather  than 
a  military  purpose :  they  would  oversee  both  the 
Wardens  and  the  Barons  or  Stewarts  in  respect  of 
keeping  order  and  the  administration  of  justice. 

These  appointments  become  frequent  in  the  latter 
half  of  the  sixteenth  century,  and  probably  point  to 
the  increased  disorder  on  the  Marches. 

Sometimes  perhaps  the  appointment  may  have  been 
a  mark  of  royal  or  court  favour,  as  in  the  case  of  the 
Lieutenancy  of  all  the  Marches  conferred  on  the 
Earl  of  Bothwell  in  1559,  but  usually,  as  we  have 
already  suggested,  the  office  seems  to  be  chiefly 

In  the  year  following  Lord  Ruthven  is  appointed 
Lieutenant  and  Justice  over  all  the  bounds  of  the 

Sometimes  the  Scots  Kings  or  Regents  rode  forth 
to  'do  justice'  upon  their  Border,  the  most  famous 
case  of  all  being  that  of  King  James  v.,  who,  as  every 
Borderer  knows,  conducted  a  '  justice  eyre '  of  the 
most  rough  and  ready  kind  in  person,  and  summarily 
hung  on  one  particular  circuit  in  1530  Johnnie 
Armstrong  of  Gilnockie.  In  this  last  case,  James 
seems  to  have  been  influenced  by  an  unworthy 
jealousy  of  the  splendour  of  his  equipment  and 
retinue,  as  both  Pitscottie  and  the  ballad  intimate. 


'  But  James,  looking  upon  him  sternly,  said  to  his 
attendants,  "  What  wants  that  knave  that  a  king 
should  have  ? "  and  ordered  him  to  instant  execution. 
Whereupon  Armstrong  "  made  great  offers  to  the 
King.  That  he  should  sustain  himself,  with  40 
gentlemen,  ever  ready  at  his  service,  on  their  own 
cost,  without  wronging  any  Scottishman :  secondly, 
that  there  was  not  a  subject  in  England,  duke,  earl, 
or  baron,  but,  within  a  certain  day,  he  should  bring 
him  to  his  Majesty,  either  quick  or  dead."  At  length, 
he  seeing  no  hope  of  favour,  said  very  proudly,  "  It 
is  folly  to  seek  grace  at  a  graceless  face :  but,"  said 
he,  "  had  I  known  this,  I  should  have  lived  upon  the 
Borders  in  despite  of  King  Harry  and  you  both  :  for  I 
know  King  Harry  would  down  weigh  my  best  horse 
with  gold,  to  know  that  I  were  condemned  to  die 
this  day."'1 

*  John  wore  a  girdle  about  his  middle, 
Imbroider'd  ower  wi'  burning  gold, 
Bespangled  wi'  the  same  metal, 
Maist  beautiful  was  to  behold. 

There  hang  nine  targats  at  Johnnie's  hat 
And  ilk  ane  worth  three  hundred  pound — 

What  wants  that  knave  that  a  king  should  have, 
But  the  sword  of  honour  and  the  crown  ? ' 

Thus  it  was  with  Jethart  justice  that  James  v. 

1  Lyndsay  of  Pitscottie,  History,  p.  145. 


quieted  his  own  Border  and  '  made  the  rush  bush 
keep  the  cow.'  Queen  Mary,  again,  held  a  justice 
eyre  at  Jedburgh,  to  which  her  Warden  of  the  West 
and  Middle  Marches,  the  Earl  of  Both  well,  should 
have  brought  the  evil-doers  of  his  Wardenship  had  he 
not  been  dangerously  wounded  by  '  John  o'  the  Park.' 

Even  the  unwarlike  James  vi.  made  an  expedition 
against  the  thieves  of  the  West  Border  in  1597.  He 
thus  wrote  to  Henry  Leigh  at  Carlisle  (Deputy- 
Warden  of  the  English  West  March) : — 

'  As  some  of  the  broken  men  and  malefactors  within 
this  our  West  March  have  refused  to  enter  and 
submit  as  directed  by  our  Council,  we  have  resolved 
to  passe  forward  in  proper  person  uppon  them  with 
fyre  and  sword  upon  Tysday  next  the  xxii  day  of 
this  instant  to  their  exterminacion  and  wreike.' 




WITH  the  union  of  the  two  crowns  in  the  person  of 
James  vi.  and  i.  the  golden  time  of  the  Rank-rider 
of  the  Marches,  the  Border  Freebooter,  and  the 
Moss-trooper  came  to  an  end.  He  was  forced  to 
'  purge  himself  and  live  cleanly/  for  he  could  no 
longer  play  upon  the  mutual  jealousies  of  the 
Wardens  nor  'take  assurance'  from  the  opposite 
realm,  but  was  punished  for  his  misdeeds  by  Com- 
missioners or  by  the  Judges  on  their  Assize.  All 
hostile  Acts  of  Parliament  against  each  other's  realm 
were  deleted  in  1607,  and  either  country  sought  the 
common  security  ;  but  it  was  only  gradually  that  the 
Borders  were  quieted.  Wanton  destruction  indeed 
such  as  had  formerly  been  caused  by  the  Wardens 
ceased,  but  '  doing  a  little  shifting  for  their  living ' 
was  still  a  profession  amongst  the  marchmen,  and  the 
horse-stealer  lingered  on  into  the  reign  of  George  i., 
for  we  hear  of  a  noted  horse-thief,  '  Luck-in-the-bag,' 
in  connection  with  the  rising  of  '  the  '15.' 

The  profession,  however,  lost  caste,  and  offenders 


were  hardly  dealt  with,  being  pursued  by  '  slough- 
dogs  '  (bloodhounds)  through  the  sloughs,  mosses  and 
bogs,  '  and  thus  in  1616  Sir  Wilfrid  Lawson  and  Sir 
Wm.  Hutton,  two  of  his  Majesty's  commissioners  for 
the  government  of  the  middle  shires  of  Great  Britain, 
send  salutations  to  John  Musgrave  the  provost 
Marshall  and  the  rest  of  his  majesty's  garrison  (of 
Carlisle),'  and  order  '  watches  to  be  duly  searched 
as  was  appointed  and  presentments  to  us  or  one  of 
us  to  be  made,  of  every  fault,  either  in  constables 
for  their  neglect  in  not  setting  it  forth,  or  in  any 
persons  slipping  or  neglecting  their  duties  therein ; 
and  that  you  likewise  see  that  slough  dogs  be  pro- 
vided according  to  our  former  directions,  and  as  this 
note  to  this  warrant  annexed  particularly  sets  down.' 
The  first  '  dogge '  is  to  be  kept  beyond  Esk,  and 
other  eight  are  also  to  be  provided  and  their  quarters 
named — '  the  Sheriff,  officers,  l^ailiffs  and  constables, 
within  every  circuit  and  compass  wherein  the  slough 
dogs  are  appointed  to  be  kept,  are  to  take  care  for 
taxing  the  inhabitants  towards  the  charge  thereof, 
and  collect  the  same,  and  for  providing  the  slough 
dogs ;  and  to  inform  the  Commissioners  if  any  refuse 
to  pay  their  contributions,  so  as  thereby  such  as 
refuse  may  be  committed  to  the  gaol  till  they  pay 
the  same.' l 

1  Burn  and  Nicholson,  vol.  L  p.  131. 


Various  commissions  were  appointed,  composed  of 
both  English  and  Scots,  whose  '  condescendings '  dealt 
with  offenders  of  either  country.  Thus  Englishmen 
refusing  to  staunch  old  feuds  were  to  lie  in  Edinburgh, 
and  Scottishmen  in  Newcastle.  Armour  and  weapons 
in  the  unsettled  districts  in  the  Middle  and  West 
Marches  were  to  be  put  away,  and  no  horse,  gelding 
or  mare  above  the  price  of  50s.  sterling  or  £30  Scots 
was  to  be  kept — upon  pain  of  death. 

In  the  case  of  the  Grahams  or  Grames,  who  lived 
beside  Esk  and  Liddle  in  the  English  part  of  what 
had  been  till  its  division  in  1552  the  Debatable 
ground,  a  '  transplantation '  of  almost  the  entire 
'  name '  was  effected  early  in  the  new  reign. 

As  the  King  proudly  declares  in  his  proclamation 
of  the  first  year  of  his  reign,  December  1603,  '  By  the 
travel  of  his  cousin,  the  Earl  of  Cumberland,  his 
lieutenant  there,  with  the  assistance  of  other  com- 
missioners, things  are  brought  to  that  point,  that  the 
offenders  are  all  at  our  mercy,  and  do  all  (but  specially 
the  Grames)  confess  themselves  to  be  no  meet  persons 
to  live  in  those  countries,  and  therefore  have  humbly 
besought  us  that  they  might  be  removed  to  some 
other  parts,  where  with  our  gracious  favour  they 
hope  to  live  to  become  new  men,  and  to  deserve  our 
mercy  :  although  we  do  confess,  we  have  rather  in- 
clined to  this  course  of  mercy,  as  a  thing  more 


agreeable  to  our  nature,  than  the  taking  of  so  much 
blood  as  would  be  shed,  if  we  should  leave  them  to 
the  just  censure  of  the  law.'  Nevertheless  His 
Majesty  has  to  admit — concealing  as  best  he  may 
this  hard  fact  under  much  verbiage — that  there 
being  '  a  lack  of  means  to  provide  presently  for  the 
transplantation  of  these  Grames  elsewhere,  to  the 
intent  their  lands  may  be  inhabited  by  others  of  good 
and  honest  conversation :  we  have  thought  it  not 
amiss,  for  better  effecting  thereof,  and  for  ease  of  the 
prisons,  to  dismiss  the  vulgar  sort  of  them  :  retaining 
their  heads  and  principals  for  pledges,  not  only  to  be 
answerable  for  their  forthcoming  when  they  shall  be 
called  for,  but  for  their  good  behaviour  also  in  the 
mean  season.' 

Mr.  Bell,  the  west  Warden's  clerk,  gives  in  his 
MS.  'a  note  and  abstract  of  the  several  names  of 
the  clans  of  all  the  Grames,  severally  given  in  to 
the  right  honourable  Thos.  Lord  Scroope  of  Bolton, 
Lord  Warden  of  the  West  Marches  of  England 
towards  Scotland,  preferred  by  them  the  eighth  day 
of  Oct.  1602  ;  whom  they  severally  bound  themselves 
to  be  answerable  for  to  the  said  Lord  Scroope.'  Com- 
mencing with  the  Goodman  of  Netherby,  who  answers 
for  himself,  sons,  brothers,  '  brether,'  and  tenants,  and 
concluding  with  those  that  '  Will  Grame,  Goodman  of 
Medop,  his  eames  [uncles]  sons,  and  friends  will  answer 


for/  the  number  is  four  hundred  and  thirty-nine,  and 
'the  tax  assessed  and  received  for  transplantation  of  the 
Grames  in  the  year  1606 '  is  set  down  at  £408,  19s.  9d., 
paid  not  by  King  James  or  Scotland,  but  by  a  rate 
upon  the  counties  of  Cumberland  and  Westmoreland. 
He  gives  the  disbursements  of  the  three  '  goings  over 
of  the  Grames  into  Ireland,'  and  it  is  abundantly 
evident  from  the  meek  manner  in  which  these  hardy 
Borderers  submitted  that  in  King  James's  '  Middle 
Shires '  '  Othello's  occupation  was  gone/ 

The  sword  was  not  always  beaten  into  the  plough- 
share, for  the  Border  country  remained  largely 
pastoral ;  but  the  lance  of  the  notorious  '  Geordie 
Bourne '  of  the  Marches  became  not  infrequently  the 
pick  of  *  Geordie  Pitman/  who  to  this  day  exhibits 
the  courage  and  hardihood  that  characterised  his  fore- 
elders  through  the  centuries  of  Border  warfare  till 
in  his  wisdom  King  James  vi.  and  I.  '  thought  good 
to  discontinue  the  divided  name  of  England  and 
Scotland  out  of  his  royal  style,  and  resolved  to  take 
and  assume  the  name  and  style  of  Great  Britain.' 



NOT  again  could  '  Bangtail/  '  Nebless  (noseless) 
Clemy/  the  '  Devil's  chaft  blade/  and  '  Archie-fire- 
the-fells '  labour  scaithless  in  their  vocation. 

They  had  after  1603,  as  we  have  already  seen,  to 
forswear  horse-flesh  and  'live  cleanly.'  No  more 
would  they  be  able  to  run  their  day  foray  or  prick 
their  way  by  the  light  o'  the  moon — to  'ride  out 
light  and  return  heavy '  with  scores  of  nolt  and  sheep 
at  the  slight  risk  of  some  time  or  other  of  having  to 
pay  the  fines  of  '  Double  and  Sawfey  '  at  a  Warden's 
meeting  or  Day  of  Truce. 

'  Ave  Caesar !     Morituri  te  salutant.' 

For  in  1605  the  Border  Commissioners  agreed  that 
for  a  shillingsworth  of  theft  death  was  to  be  the 
penalty,  and  they  set  forth  a  short  way  with  reivers 
in  these  words  : — 

'If  any  Englishman  steal  in  Scotland,  or  any 
Scotsman  steal  in  England,  any  goods  or  cattels 
amounting  to  the  value  of  12d.,  he  shall  be  punished 
by  death ;  and  that  all  accessaries  to  such  felonies, 
viz.,  outputting  or  resetting,  shall  likewise  suffer 
death  for  the  same.' 

THE  AULD  ENEMY '  231 



EDWARD  i.'s  policy  of  hatred  had  been  only  too  successful : 
he  had  sown  dragon's  teeth,  and  had  reaped  the  'deadly 
feud '  which  was  always  ready  to  lift  up  its  head  on  every 
occasion,  for  the  memory  of  the  '  Douglas  Larder '  on  the  one 
side  or  the  cruelty  of  Cressingham  and  brutality  of  Hazlerigg 
on  the  other  was  ever  kept  fresh  through  the  centuries  by 
some  fresh  outrage  on  either  side.  Now  to  give  the  reader 
some  notion  of  the  absolute  detestation  of  the  English  felt 
by  the  Scots  even  so  late  as  the  sixteenth  century,  it  will 
suffice  to  quote  from  Monsieur  Beague,  a  French  gentleman 
who  assisted  the  Scots  in  the  'campagnes'  of  1548-9,  who 
was  an  eye-witness  of  the  barbarities  then  practised. 

After  the  fight  by  Haddington  he  relates  that '  the  Scots 
throng'd  to  their  camp,  and  beheld  the  naked  and  mangl'd 
bodies  of  the  English  stretch'd  out  upon  the  ground,  with 
an  air  rather  of  resentment  than  pity ;  nay,  some  who  no 
doubt  had  suffer'd  most  of  their  insulting  enemy,  had  the 
cruelty  to  put  out  the  eyes  of  the  dead.' 

And  again,  after  the  retaking  of  Ferniehirst  Castle,  near 
Jedburgh, '  others  of  the  Scots  tried  their  skill  and  contended 
who  amongst  them  had  the  art  to  cut  off  the  leg  or  the  arm 
of  an  Englishman  with  greatest  facility;  and  when  thus 
they  had  made  away  with  such  as  had  fallen  in  their  own 


hands ;  they  bought  from  the  French ;  nor  lost  they  any 
time  in  cheapening,  but  gave  frankly  whatever  was  ask'd, 
their  very  arms  they  parted  with,  for  the  pleasure  of 
charming  revenge.  I  remember,  they  purchased  one  of  the 
prisoners  from  myself  for  a  horse ;  they  ty'd  him  neck  and 
heels,  laid  him  down  in  a  place's  field,  run  upon  him  with 
their  lances,  arm'd  as  they  were,  and  on  horseback,  kris'd 
him,  cut  his  body  to  pieces,  and  carried  the  divided  parcels 
on  the  sharp  end  of  their  spears.  I  cannot  much  commend,' 
concludes  Monsieur  Beague,  '  the  Scots  for  this  usage ;  we 
had  not  the  same  reasons  to  delight  us  doing  ill  to  our 
enemy ;  but  the  truth  is,  the  English  had  tyrannis'd  over 
that  part  of  Scotland  in  the  most  barbarous  manner,  and  I 
do  not  find  that  'twas  any  injustice  to  repay  them,  as  the 
saying  is,  in  their  own  coin.' 

Certainly  the  Scots  were  bitter  haters,  and  as  certainly 
they  had  just  cause  for  hate,  since  the  English  did  their 
utmost  to  provoke  and  humble  their  proud  neighbours. 

You  can  read  of  the  pleasure  a  Warden  took  in  '  pricking 
the  Scot'  in  this  extract  from  a  letter1  written  by  Lord 
Dacre  of  the  North  (Lord  Warden  of  the  Marches  from  the 
first  to  the  seventeenth  year  of  Henry  vm.)  to  Henry  vm. 
in  1513  '  at  Harbotill  the  xiiith  day  of  Novembre  at  vi  of 
the  clok  in  the  morning.'  He  describes  the  great  success  of 
his  '  Rode  into  Scotland  by  way  of  Gallespeth '  (Gamblespath 
on  Windy  Gyle)  in  the  Middle  March,  wherein  his  brother 
entering  Scotland  by  '  Cressopbrige,'  the  west  boundary  of 
the  march,  had  happily  co-operated.  He  promises,  moreover, 
'  in  the  next  light '  (full  moon)  to  '  perform '  another  '  rode  ' 
into  the  West  March,  '  and  in  the  meantime  shall  cause 
smaller  Rodes  be  made,  which  shall  be  as  gret  annoyance  to 
the  Scots  as  a  great  Rode  should  be,  and  thus  shall  yor 

1  Original  Letters  (Ellis),  xxxiv.  vol.  i.  1st  series. 

'THE  AULD  ENEMY'  233 

money  be  employed  to  the  best  I  can,  and  for  the  greatest 
hurt  and  destruction  of  the  Scotts  ;  for  I  shall  be  as  goode 
a  husband  thereof,  as  I  would  be  of  myn  awn,  and  always  I 
shall  be  redy  to  gif  accompt  of  the  same  at  your  pleasure.' 

Ruthless  as  Agamemnon,  Henry  vui.  himself  commands 
Hertford  to  spare  neither  age  nor  sex  in  his  campaign  :  — 

aiirvv  o\e6pov 

For  the  poorer  people  throughout  these  centuries  life  on 
the  Border  must  have  been  an  Inferno  l  from  October  unto 
March,2  for  at  any  time  the  '  red  cock  '  might  crow  on  the 
roof  of  their  'toon,'  wife  and  daughters  be  ravished  and 
murdered,  the  '  insight  '  and  '  outsight  '  alike  '  lifted  '  and 
carried  oft'  —  four  blackened  walls  being  alone  left  to  tell 
the  tale. 

Hearken  to  the  Border  widow's  lament  :  — 

'  I  sew'd  his  sheet,  making  my  mane  ; 
I  watch'd  the  corpse,  myself  alane  ; 
I  watch'd  his  body,  night  and  day  ; 
No  living  creature  came  that  way. 

I  took  his  body  on  my  back, 
And  whiles  I  gaed,  and  whiles  I  sat  ; 
I  digg'd  a  grave,  and  laid  him  in, 
And  happ'd  him  with  the  sod  sae  green. 

But  think  na  ye  my  heart  was  sair, 
When  I  laid  the  moul'  on  his  yellow  hair  ; 
0  think  na  ye  my  heart  was  wae 
When  I  turn'd  about,  away  to  gae  ?  ' 

1  Leslie,  under  date  1532,  thus  writes  :  'Inglismen  and  Scotis,  quhen 
betwene   thame  na  apne  weiris  war  zit  proclamet,  slewe,  spoylet,  stall, 
rugit,  reivet,  ilk  from  other,  baith  be  say  and  land,  cruellie.' 

2  During  these  months  the  marches  were  ordered  to  be  set  (see  Chapter 
vni.  ).   The  summer  months  usually  afforded  a  welcome  interlude  for  pastoral 




THIS  '  deadly  feud  '  then — deliberately  built  up  by  Edward  i. 
— continued  like  a  never-dying  beacon  flame  to  call  the 
English  and  the  Scots  to  arms  for  over  three  hundred  years, 
and  was  only  staunched  in  1603,  when  fate  chose  out  the 
Scottish  Solomon  as  the  first  recipient  of  the  double  crown. 
Various  efforts  to  stay  the  flame  or  to  '  stanch  the  feud '  had, 
however,  been  made. 

Edward  i.  himself  had  preferred  originally  pacific  methods 
before  warlike,  but  the  twice  unfortunate  death  of  the 
'  Maid  of  Norway,'  in  1290,  had  wrecked  his  project  of  her 
marriage  with  his  eldest  son,  and  with  it  the  union  of  the 
two  countries  under  one  crown. 

The  voice  of  the  lover  was  hushed  ;  the  trumpet  sounded 
'  Boot  and  Saddle,'  and  it  was  with  a  sabre  in  his  hand,  and 
not  with  bridal  offerings,  that  Edward  henceforth  wooed 

The  Scots  alliance  with  France  was  the  result,  and 
Scotland's  favours  were  naturally  given  to  France,  not 
England.  Statesmen  perceived  the  need  of  the  alliance,  and 
some  few  sought  for  union,  but  till  time  had  assuaged  the 
bitterness  that  had  become  engrained  such  projects  failed  of 
accomplishment.  Edward  in.,  as  we  have  seen,  gave  his 
daughter  in  marriage  to  the  Scots  Prince  David,  after- 
wards David  ii.,  but  the  ancient  enmity  was  not  thereby 

When  at  war  with  France,  Edward  iv.  proposed  a  marriage 
between  his  daughter  Cecilia  and  the  Scottish  Prince,  but 
no  sooner  had  Edward  come  to  terms  with  France  than  he 


dropped  treating  with  James  in.  for  his  son's  hand  and — 
the  old  national  Adam  rising  within  him — proclaimed  James's 
revolted  brother,  Albany,  to  be  King  of  Scotland  by  the  grace 
of  the  King  of  England. 

A  few  years  later  an  indenture  of  matrimony  was  drawn 
up  between  Richard  in.  and  James  for  the  marriage  of  the 
Scots  King's  eldest  son,  James,  to  Anne,  Richard's  niece,  the 
daughter  of  John,  Duke  of  Suffolk. 

Henry  vn.,  after  proposing  to  marry  either  his  sister-in- 
law,  or  his  cousin  Katharine,  granddaughter  of  the  Duke  of 
Somerset,  to  James  iv.,  finally  gave  him  his  daughter 
Margaret,  which,  however,  did  not  prevent  James  from 
rushing  upon  his  ruin  at  Flodden  in  spite  of  the  mutual 
'  grete  tender  Luve  and  Kindness ' *  previously  alluded  to  and 
his  own  oath.2 

The  marriage  of  Edward  vi.  to  Princess  Mary  of  Scotland 
(the  ill-fated  Queen)  was  vehemently  pressed  both  by 
Henry  VIIL  and  the  Protector,  but  the  wooing  was  so  rough 

1  The  indenture  of  1487   given  in  Rymer  (arising  out  of  the   'grete 
tender  Luve  and  Kindness  athie  Prince  has  in  sundri  wise  schewin  unto 
uthir ')    proposes   a   marriage  '  between  the   King  of    Scots  and  Queen 
Elizabeth  late  wife  of  King  Edward  the  Ford,  or  between  Prince  James, 
the  first  begotten  son  of  the  seid  king  of  Scottis,  and  ane  of  the  seid 
Edward  the  Ford  umquhile  King  of  England  Dochties,  and  sistir  to  the 
said  Princes  Elizabeth  nowe  queene  of  England  quhilk  likit  best  to  baith 
the  said  kings. 

'  Be  the  quhilk  Mariage  or  Mariagez,  by  the  Grace  of  God  to  be  com- 
pletit,  sail  folowe  the  finall  appeasing  and  cause  of  cesing  of  all  sic 
Debaites  and  Controversies,  as  in  time  past  has  bene,  for  the  Castell  and 
Town  of  Berwick,  betuix  the  Kings  of  the  seid  Eealmes  for  the  tyme  being 
movit  and  attemptit,  or  the  quhilk  Castell  and  Town  of  Berwick,  the  said 
King  of  Scottis  desires  alwais  Deliverans  as  the  finale  appeasing  of  the 
seid  mariages  or  any  of  thame,  be  sic  concorde  as  may  be  betuix  Him  and 
the  seid  King  of  Ingland.' 

2  James  iv.'s  oath,  1502  : — 

'I,  James,  by  the  Grace  of  Gode,  King  of  Scotland,  Promise,  be  thir 
Haly  Evangelis  and  Canon  of  the  Haly  Mess  be  me  Bodily  touchit.  Swere 


that  the  national  honour — pricked  on  also  by  the  French 
influence — was  aroused  against  it. 

The  following  Convention,  indeed,  seems  to  have  con- 
templated another  Raid  of  Ruthven. 

This  Convention  was  signed  by  Norman  Lesly,  James 
Kirkcaldy  of  Grange,  Henry  Balnavis,  David  Monnypenny, 
and  William  Kirkcaldy,  and  was  an  agreement  between  them 
and  the  Protector  Somerset  and  Edward  vi. 

'  We  cannot  deny/  they  say,  '  but  by  all  Reasone  must 
confesse,  that  unlesse  our  sad  Sovereign  Lady  de  delyvered 
into  the  Hands  of  the  Kingis  majeste  that  now  is,  to  be 
Brough  up  and  educated  togithirs  by  his  sade  Uncle  and 
otheris  of  the  Privy  Counsall,  the  sad  marriage  notwith- 
standing any  Promesse  that  have  or  can  be,  is  never  likele 
to  take  effecte,  whereby  the  occasione  no  we  sent  by  God 
evidentlie  for  the  Determination  of  a  perpetual  Peax,  Unite, 
and  hartie  naturale  Love  betwene  both  the  Realmes  being 
pretermitted,  the  semblabe  is  never  like  to  enswe  hereafter, 
and  so  shall  both  Statis  their  Realmes  and  Subjectis  con- 
tinue, to  the  Displeasure  of  Almighty  God,  the  Destruction 
of  themselves  and  their  Countres,  to  the  eternal  Condemnation 
of  the  Workers  of  the  same,  in  Hetered,  Rancour,  Malice 
and  Vengeance  the  one  against  the  other.' 

This  '  Hetered,  Rancour,  Malice  and  Vengeance '  were  yet 
continually  and  thoughtfully  fed  by  either  side  to  the  very 
end,  for  Henry  vn.  uses  the  phrase  In  dominio  nostro 

that  I  sail  for  my  parte  wele  and  trewly  kepe  and  observe  the  Trete  of 
Perpetuale  Peax  and  Amitie,  and  every  Article  of  the  same,  now  lately 
passit  and  concludit  be  sufficient  Auctorite,  and  in  the  Names  of  Us,  the  said 
King  on  that  Ane  Partie,  and  the  Rt  Excellent  the  Eight  Hie  and  Mighty 
Prince  Henry,  be  the  Grace  of  God,  King  of  Ingland  and  of  France  and 
Lord  of  Irland  on  that  other  Partie,  bering  Date  the  xxiv  Day  of  the 
moneth  of  January  last  past,  and  the  same  als  fer  ais  in  me  is  I  sail  cause 
in  likewise  to  be  Observid  and  Kept  my  Subgiectis.' 


Scotiae,  and  Mary  Queen  of  Scots  on  her  marriage  with  the 
Dauphin  assumed  the  arms  of  England. 

Yet  it  is  difficult  for  Englishmen  nowadays,  who  as  a  rule 
are  singularly  ignorant  of  Scots  history,  to  realise  how 
distinct  from,  and  foreign  to  England,  Scotland  was  in  olden 
days,  and  these  two  extracts  from  indentures  of  1492  and 
1497  may  give  some  additional  notion  of  this  political 
estrangement.  (Rymer's  Foedera.) 

Thus  in  the  Ratificatio  Conventionum  Scotiae  of  1492 — a 
five  years'  truce  and  abstinence  from  war  between  the  Kings 
of  England  and  Sqotland — it  is  stipulated  that  'the  Con- 
federate Kings '  are  to  join  in  should  they  wish  to  do  so  and 
signify  the  same  within  six  months  ;  if  by  then  they  do  not 
do  so,  and  if  the  Kings  of  England  and  Scotland  do  not 
wish  the  Confederate  Kings  to  be  included,  then  the  truce 
is  of  no  force  or  meaning.  These  kings  are  '  pro  parte  Regis 
Scotorum,  Karolus  Rex  Franciae,  Johannes  Rex  Daciae,  Rex 
Hispaniae,  Rex  Neapoli,  Austriae  et  Medioleni  Duces,'  and 
'  pro  parte  Regis  Angliae,  Imperator,  Rex-Romanorum, 
Reges  Hispaniae,  Portugaliae,  Neapoli,  Austriae,  Burgundiae, 
Ferrarii  et  Sabaudiae  Duces.' 

Again,  in  1497  the  circumstance  and  the  cause  of  the 
violation,  breakage  and  dissolution  of  the  last  truce  is 
committed  to  the  arbitration,  judgment  and  final  deter- 
mination of  the  King  and  Queen  of  Spain. 

A  fresh  truce  between  the  two  Kings  of  England  and 
Scotland  is  to  last  from  sunrising  of  30th  September  to 
sunset  30th  September  1504 — the  Apostolic  Prothonotary 
Petrus  Ayala  being  brought  in  as  arbitrator,  'pro  bono 
Pacis,  tanquam  media  Persona,  interfuit  illustris  Dominus 
Petrus  Ayala  Prothenotarius  Apostolicus  ac  Illustrissimoruin 
Principum  Regis  et  Reginae  Hispaniorum  orator.' 




THE  Bishop  of  Durham  seems  occasionally  to  have  been 
appointed  Warden  in  commission  with  others,  but  in  con- 
sequence of  his  royal  prerogative  in  the  Bishopric  he  had 
oftentimes  to  take  the  field  against  the  Scots  in  person  in 
early  times,  for  he  was  regarded  as '  a  brazen  bulwark  against 
Scotland.' x  Bishop  Bek,  for  example,  who  is  said  '  to  have 
loved  war  for  its  own  sake,'  in  1298,  '  carried  through  the 
siege  of  the  Castle  of  Dirlton  in  Scotland,  and  seems  to  have 
had  the  whole  conduct  of  the  war  in  behalf  of  the  King.' 

The  King  requests  the  Bishop  to  send  his  men ;  he  does 
not  command  him  to  do  so,  but  in  course  of  time  'in 
military  matters  the  privileges  of  the  Palatinate  were  never 
allowed  to  interfere  with  the  complete  freedom  of  action  on 
the  part  of  the  authorities  of  the  Marches ;  and,  further,  the 
Bishops  always  accepted  this  arrangement  without  question : 
undoubtedly,  indeed,  they  were  glad  of  any  assistance  in 
their  arduous  task  of  defending  the  Borders,  even  though 
obtained  at  the  cost  of  some  infringement  of  their  liberties.' 

Finally,  it  appears  that  the  Bishop  of  Durham,  in 
Elizabeth's  reign,  '  was  responsible  to  the  Wardens  of  the 
Marches  for  any  assistance  they  might  require,  or  that  he 
might  be  able  to  give.' 

1  See  Lapsley,  County  Palatine  of  Durham.     (Longmans.) 




THE  '  Border  Spear '  seems  usually  to  have  been  contented 
with  but  little  furniture  for  himself  or  nag.  As  one  who 
enters  for  a  Point-to-Point  nowadays,  he  rode  as  light  as 
possible,  for  in  case  of '  Hot  Trod '  he  might  have  to  trust  to 
the  swiftness  of  his  horse  for  safety.  A  jack1  (leathern 
jacket  strengthened  with  iron  plates),  steel  cap,  and  spear  were 
the  usual  equipment  of  the  yeomen  class.  Spear  or  lance  or 
Jethart  staff  or  halbert  seem  to  have  been  in  use  indifferently, 
though  the  two  last  would  perhaps  have  been  more  useful 
for  footmen  when  fighting  against  horsemen,  as  more  likely 
to  bring  the  rider  to  the  ground. 

As  the  late  Mr.  Bain  pointed  out  in  his  Introduction  to  the 
Calendar  of  Border  Papers,  vol.  i.,  the  commission  of  in- 
quiries of  Queen  Elizabeth  on  the  Western  Border  gives 
not  only  the  arms  and  weapons,  but  also  notes  their 

'The  jack,  steel  cap,  and  spear  predominate  next  the 
Scottish  Border,  the  bow  and  bill  in  the  districts  further 
south,  and  there  are  not  above  half-a-dozen  guns  or  arque- 
buses :  while  two  men  were  ready  to  face  the  enemy,  one 
with  a  pitchfork  and  the  other  with  a  pikestaff.' 

In  1605  the  Border  Commissioners  on  the  West,  appointed 
by  King  James  for  the  ordering  of  his  '  Middle  Shires,'  agree 
in  regard  to  armour,  weapons,  and  horses  as  follows : — 

'That  proclamation  shall  be  made,  that  all  inhabiting 
within  Tindale  and  Riddsdale  in  Northumberland,  Bew- 
castle  dale,  Wilgavey,  the  north  part  of  Gilsland,  Esk,  and 

1  The  jack  seems  to  be  applied  indifferently  to  the  brigandine,  gambeson, 
scalecoat,  and  lorica. 


Leven  in  Cumberland,  east  and  west  Tevidale,  Eskdale, 
Ewsdale  and  Annandale  in  Scotland  (saving  noblemen  and 
gentlemen,  unsuspected  of  felony  or  theft,  and  not  being  of 
broken  clans)  and  their  household  servants,  dwelling  within 
those  several  places  before  visited,  shall  put  away  all  armour 
and  weapons,  as  well  offensive  as  defensive,  as  jacks,  spears, 
lances,  swords,  daggers,  steelcaps,  hagbuts,  pistols,  plate 
sleeves,  and  such  like ;  and  shall  not  keep  any  horse,  gelding 
or  mare,  above  the  price  of  50s.  sterling,  or  301.  Scots. :  upon 
like  pain  of  imprisonment.' 


THE  damage  or  loss  seems  to  have  been  assessed  by  a  jury 
of  twelve,  six  of  whom  were  to  be  '  gentlemen  of  Worship 
and  good  name  of  Scotland,'  chosen  by  the  English  Warden, 
and  the  other  six  '  like  gentlemen  of  England,'  to  be  named 
by  the  Scots  Warden.  Then  this  assessment  was  doubled, 
and  a  third — '  in  respect  of  such  charges  as  the  partie  offended 
had  sustained  in  the  inquearinge  and  findinge  certainlye  who 
was  the  offender ' — finally  added.  This  was  the  famous 
double  and  sawfey — or  '  two  doubles,'  in  reality  a  threefold — 
fine,  which  is  so  commonly  met  with  in  old  Border  histories 
and  nearly  always  wrongly  explained.  Even  in  Mr.  Heslop's 
excellent  Dictionary  of  Northumberland  Words  '  sawfey 
money'  is  said  to  be  'blackmail  levied  by  the  reivers  of 
Tynedale  and  Redesdale.' 

The  English  Dialect  Dictionary  lends  its  high  authority 
to  the  like  error,  for  it  defines  '  sawfey  money '  as  '  blackmail 
levied  by  Border  Raiders.' 

Again,  Jamieson's  Scottish  Dictionary,  under  the  heading 


of '  Saughie,'  gives  this  explanation, '  The  sum  given  in  name 
of  salvage  ;  an  old  term  used  in  the  Border  laws.' 

This  would  seem  to  imply  a  derivation  from  safety,  as 
though  '  sawfey '  signified  safety  money. 

Now  the  three  terms  Principal,  Double  and  Sawfey  are 
succinctly  set  down  and  explained  under  the  'manner  of 
holding  days  of  Truce'  as  follows  (Calendar  of  Border 
Papers,  voL  ii.  p.  724) : — 

'Principall'  is  given  as  the  '  true  single  quantity  of  a  bill.' 

'  Doubles  '  another  single  quantity. 

'  Sawffies'  a  third  single  quantity. 

Every  one  filed  or  convicted  of  a  bill  for  stolen  goods  is 
condemned  to  pay  three  for  one  (with  exceptions),  viz. 
principall,  double  and  sawffie. 

Whatever  the  derivation,  the  meaning  is  more  particularly 
set  down  by  Sir  Robert  Bowes  in  his  report  on  the  Border  in 
1551.  He  has  some  difficulty  in  spelling  the  term  :  it  is  now 
the  '  double  and  falss '  and  again  the  '  double  and  sale'  and 
finally  the  '  double  and  falsse,'  but  he  knows  quite  well  what 
it  means.  '  Ye  principall  goods  sold  or  spoyled  to  be  re- 
dressed or  the  value  thereof  with  the  double,  which  was  as 
muche  againe  as  the  principall  amounted  unto,  and  for  the 
fals '  ('  sawfey '),  '  or  in  respect  of  such  charges  as  the  partie 
offended  had  sustained  in  the  inquearinge  and  findinge 
certainlye  who  was  the  offender  all  other  tyme,  the  value  of 
the  gooddes  which  in  the  whole  amounted  to  a  threefold 
restitution.'  He  goes  on  to  say  that  '  by  remisse  and  negli- 
gente  directions  made  by  officers  upon  the  Borders,  the 
same  good  orders  were  perverted  to  the  favor  and  profyte  of 
the  thiefe,  losse  and  damage  of  trew  men '  by  only  ordering 
the  '  double '  to  be  paid.  Wherefore  the  Commissioners 
order  that  after  the  first  day  of  May  1551  'for  all  attemptets 
donne  and  committed  or  to  be  committed  after  the  said  day 


of  the  first  meetings  of  the  said  Commissioners  hereafter, 
duringe  ye  peace  redresse  should  be  made  with  double  and 
falsse  yt  ys  to  say  in  triplum  or  three  times  as  muche  as  the 
principall  amountethe  unto  accompted  en  the  principall  (if 
yt  may  be  had)  to  discharge  one  third  part  thereof.'  In  the 
indenture  of  1553  it  is  stated  that  this  '  redress  by  payment 
of  the  principal  with  two  doubles '  not  having  estopped 
thieves  and  evil-doers  they  shall  for  the  third  fault  incur 
the  pain  of  death  as  common  offenders  against  the  laws  of 
the  marches. 

The  '  double  and  sawfey '  was  also  the  mulct  for  '  any 
tymbre  or  woodd  fellen,  taken  and  caryed  away  by  the  in- 
habitants of  either  realme  furthe  of  the  opposite  realme — to 
be  esteamed  and  assessed  by  the  othe  of  the  partie  offended 
or  his  servante  keeper  of  the  said  woodd.' 


This  was  not,  as  stated  in  a  footnote  in  the  Leges 
Marchiarum,  a  'scolding  or  wrangling'  between  two  Bor- 
derers, but  a  public  accusation  of  faithless  dealing  and 
broken  word.  A  licence  had  to  be  obtained  for  this  from 
both  Wardens.  This  'Baughling,'  however,  having  been 
found  to  give  'great  occasion  of  further  trouble  and  in- 
convenience,' it  was  laid  down  in  the  indenture  of  1553 
'  that  no  person  or  persons  of  either  the  said  realms,  shall,  at 
any  day  of  Trewes,  or  other  Convention  or  assemblies  between 
the  officers  of  both  the  said  realms,  bear,  shew  or  declare 
any  sign  or  token  of  reproof.' 

In  order,  however,  that  justice  might  be  done  in  the 
matter,  it  was  enacted  in  the  indenture  of  1563  c  that  where 
any  person  of  either  realm  shall  complain  upon  the  subjects 
of  the  other  realm,  dwelling  within  any  of  the  Wardenries 
thereof,  that  he  will  not,  according  to  his  bond  and  promise, 


re-enter  as  lawful  prisoner  either  for  himself,  or  any  other 
that  he  standeth  bound  for,  or  will  not  pay  his  ransome 
promised,  and  other  such  like  matter  and  causes,  that  the 
person  complainant  shall  give  in  his  bill  to  the  warden  of 
the  marche  where  the  person  complained  upon  dwelleth : 
and  the  warden  shall  cause  him  to  be  lawfully  arrested,  to 
answer  the  next  day  of  Trewe,  and  to  do  justice  upon  the 
complaint,  in  giving  of  sentence  according  to  the  marches 
equity  and  reason.' 

The  ways  of  spelling  the  word  are  many  and  various.  A 
'reproche  or  baughle,'  Sir  Robert  Bowes  styles  it.  A 
'  baughling  (brawling)  or  reproving,'  wrote  Sir  Walter  Scott 
in  his  Introduction  to  Border  Antiquities.  It  is  written  as 
Baugle  in  the  Border  Laws,  and  as  Bawchling  in  Calendar 
of  Border  Papers. 

The  true  word  seems  to  be  Bauchle,  the  meaning  of  which, 
as  given  in  Jamieson's  Scottish  Dictionary,  is  to  treat  con- 
temptuously, to  vilify :  as  to  bauchle  a  lass,  to  jilt  a  young 
woman,  or  to  put  out  of  shape,  as  e.g.  to  bauchle  shoon. 

'Bawchling,'  says  the  memorandum  (Calendar  of  Border 
Papers,  vol.  ii.  p.  724)  on  the  'manner  of  holding  days  of  Truce,' 
'is  a  publicke  reproffe,or  rather  ane  appeall,by  holding  a  gloave 
(representing  the  false  hand  of  the  person  bawchled)  on  a 
speares  pointe,  at  a  day  of  truce  or  other  assemblye  of  English 
and  Scottes,  whereby  the  partie  bawchled  is  accused  or  chal- 
lendged  for  breaking  his  word,  faith  or  bond :  and  sometimes 
the  speare  and  glove  are  by  the  accuser  fixed  on  the  house- 
topp  of  the  person  accused :  but  this  is  very  punishable  by 
the  treaties,  yf  it  be  done  without  the  princes  or  the 
wardens  license.' 

Sir  Robert  Bowes  in  his  Informacions  gives  the  following 
interesting  description  of  the  said  'baughling.'  'And  be- 
cause the  manner  and  order  of  such  reproche  or  baughill  is 


not  knowne  to  everye  man  I  thoughte  good  here  to  describe 
ye  same  thus : — 

'  If  any  Englishe  man  or  Scottsman  be  bound  to  another  of 
the  opposite  realme,  for  ransome,  entrie  of  prisoners,  or  any 
other  juste  cause,  for  the  which  he  bindethe  him  by  his 
faithe  and  truthe,  and  doth  not  accordinglie  performe  and 
accomplishe  the  same,  after  reasonable  monitions  thereof 
given  to  the  partie,  and  request  to  performe  the  said  bonde 
and  promise,  It  hath  been  used  between  the  realmes,  that 
the  partie  offended  would  beare  a  glove,  or  a  picture  of  him 
that  had  so  broken  his  truthe,  and  by  the  blast  of  a  home  or 
crye  to  give  knowledge  to  the  whole  assemblie,  that  such  a 
person  is  an  untrue  and  unfaithful  man  of  his  promise  to 
his  reproche,  which  is  as  much  in  the  lawe  of  armes  as  to 
give  unto  him  the  lye,  and  appeale  to  fight  with  him  in  the 

'  And  indeed  the  partie  so  reproched  may  (if  he  will)  defend 
his  cause  and  truthe  by  singular  battaile,  which  the  other 
partie  can  not  honestly  refuse.' 



Abernethy,  10. 

Acts  of  the  Parliament  of  Scotland, 

quotations  from,  67. 
Aglionby,    Edward,    extract    from 

letters  to  Burghley,  172,  173,  174, 

187,  188. 
Agricola,  7. 
Albany,  Duke  of,  235. 
Alexander  in.,  13,  14. 
Allendale,  43. 
Alnmouth,  43. 
Alnwick,  47. 
Angles,  the,  7. 
Angus,  Robert  Umfreville,  Earl  of, 

176,  192. 
Annandale,  52,  239. 

keeper  of,  51,  52. 

Anne,  daughter  of  John,  Duke  of 

Suffolk,  235. 
Appleby,    John    de,    Dean    of    St. 

Paul's,  203. 
Thomas.     See  Carlisle,  Bishop 

Armstrong  family,  the,  27,  39,  50, 

80,  115,  155,  182. 

Hector  of  Harlaw,  30,  31. 

Johnnie    of    Gilnockie,    222, 


Sandie,  58,  60. 

Armstrong,  R.  B.,  History  of  Liddes- 

dale  and  Debateable  Land,  ix,  63. 
• quotation  from  History  of 

Liddesdale,  49-51,  57,  177. 
Arundel,  Earl  of,  53. 
Athelstane,  8. 
Austria-Hungary,  8,  9. 
Avower,  109,  118-120. 

Bain,  Joseph,  viii. 

extract  from  the  Border 

Papers,  188,  189,  239. 
Balfour,  142. 

Ballard,  his  Domesday  Inquest,  10. 
Balliol,  John,  13,  14,  15. 
Balnavis,  Henry,  236. 
Bamborough,  38. 
Bannockburn,  battle  of,  16. 
Barty  of  the  Comb.     See  Milburn. 
Batablers,  29,  60. 
Bauchle  or  Baugle,  vii,  viii,  94,  242- 


Beacons,  their  distribution,  165-170. 
statutes  concerning,  166-170. 

Beague,  Monsieur,  231. 

quotation  from,  231,  232. 

Beaton,  Cardinal,  188. 

Bek,     Bishop     of     Durham.      See 

Bell,  Richard,  45,  123,  142. 

quotations  from  his  MS., 

105-112,  141-143,  228,  229. 
Bellingham,  22. 
Berners,  Lord,  24. 
Berwick,  9,  15,  38,  43,  105,  139. 

garrison  of,  47,  177,  178,  179. 

commissioners  of,  115. 

Bewcastle  Castle,  captain  of,  48,  49, 

account  of  captaincy,  54. 

Dale,  239. 

Black  Rood,  the,  16. 
Blakehope  Burn,  23. 
Boethius,  Hector,  9. 
Boniface,  Pope,  11. 
Bonthron,  80. 



Border,  the,  its  initiation,  6. 

clans  enumerated,  172-175. 

early  laws,  142,  151. 

tenure  on,  42,  43. 

See  Leges  Marchi- 

drawbacks  of,  116- 


hounds,  25. 

life  upon,  29. 

meetings,  varieties  of,  104,  105. 

papers.    See  Calendar  of  Border 


Spear,  239 

Borderers,  27. 

• Scots,  described  by  Froissart, 

24-26,  31. 

described  by  Gray,  26,  27. 

character  of,  30,  31,  32,  33,  154. 

freebooters,  profession  of,  225, 

transplantation  of,  227- 


Borderland,  descriptions  of,  1-5,  22. 
Bosnia,  8. 
Bothwell,  Francis,  Earl  of,  50. 

James,  Earl  of,  50,  222. 

Patrick,  Earl  of,  50. 

Bowes,   Sir  Robert,  vii,   105,    128, 

144,  150,  179,  188,  199. 

Informations,  viii,  41. 

quotations  from  In- 
formations, 243,  244. 

•  quotation  from  Book 

of  the  State  of  the  Frontiers  and 

Marches,  19. 
quotations  from,  40, 

41,  42,  43,  44,  116,  117,  241,  242, 


Sir  William,  vii. 

Declaration  from 

Barwicke,  72. 

•  quotation  from,  104. 
letter  to  Cecil,  128. 

Braes  of  Yarrow,  4. 
Braxfield,  Lord,  151. 
Britons,  the,  7. 

'  Broken  men,'  102. 
Brough,  9. 

Brougham  Castle,  29. 
Brunanbuhr,  battle  of,  8. 
Brutus,  16. 

Buccleugh,  Keeper   of   Liddesdale, 

Laird  of,  2,  39,  134-137,  156. 

Lord  Scott,  36,  50. 

Burgh-upon-Sands,  17. 

Burghley,   33,    104,    135,   136,   139, 

156,  163,  164,  172,  174,  180,  187. 
Burleigh,  vii,  viii. 
Burn     and    Nicholson,     describing 

debatable  land,  56,  57,  67. 

History   of  Westmorland 

and  Cumberland,  ix,  105,  145. 
extracts     from    History 

of  Westmorland  and  Cumberland, 

115,  116,  191,  192. 
Burton,  Dr.  Hill,  11,  12. 


Calendar  of  Border  Papers,  viii,  ix, 

30,  33,  37,  39,  44,  45,  46. 
extracts  from,  46, 

47,  51,  53,  54,  72,  99,  115,  118, 
119,  125,  139,  161,  164,  172-175, 
178,  179-183,  187,  188,  239,  240, 

Camden,  quotation  from  Britannia, 

Canute,  King,  9. 

Carey,  John,  136. 

Sir  Robert,  47,  129,  136,  161, 


letter  to  Cecil,  124- 


Carham-on-Tweed,  battle  of,  9. 

Carleton,  Thomas,  letters  to  Lord 
Burleigh,  viii. 

quotation  from  his  Re- 
port, 53,  54. 

Carlisle,  9,  25,  29,  37,  38,  39,  44,  73, 
78,  81,  105,  139. 

Andrew  de  Harcla,  Earl  of,  203. 

breakingof  castle,  134-137, 211. 



Carlisle  Castle,  2,  48. 

Gilbert  Welton,  Bishop  of,  203. 

Thomas  Appleby,  Bishop  of, 

192,  193,  203. 

Carlyle,    Thomas    (his    ancestors), 

Carmichael,  Sir  John,  121,  132,  133, 

Carr,  Sir  Robert,  Earl  of  Somerset. 

See  Somerset. 
Carre,  Sir  Robert,  101. 
Carter,  23. 

Cecil,  Lord,  54,  124-128. 
Challoner,  Sir  Thomas,  62. 
Charles    Edward,    Prince    (Prince 

Charlie),  39. 
Charlton  Spur,  the,  25. 
Charlton,  William,  of  Bellingham, 


Chattlehope  Spout,  23. 
Chester,  7. 
Cheviot,  9,  38. 

Hanging  Stone  on,  37,  43,  47. 

Chevy  Chase,  2,  38. 
Clifford,  family  of,  202,  203. 

Robert    de,    Lord    of   West- 
morland, 66,  191,  192,  202,  203. 

Clyde,  the  river,  7. 

Cockermouth,  Lord  of.     See  Lucy, 

Cold  trod,  93. 
Coleridge,  Miss  Mary,  3. 
CoUingwood,  Sir  Cuthbert,  48. 
Commendation,  description  of,  10. 
Compurgation,  77. 
Constable,  30. 

Constantino,  King  of  the  Scots,  8, 1 1. 
Coquet,  20. 
Corbit  Jock,  23,  24. 
'  Comage,'  26. 
Council  of  the  North,  217. 
Creightonian  Lecture,  ix. 
Cressingham,  78,  231. 
Crosby  Ravensworth,  44. 
Crozier  clan,  48. 
Cryssop,  37,  38,  43-44. 
Cumberland,  7-12,  39-42,  44,  73. 

Cumberland,    extent    of    musters, 
44,  45. 

George,  last  Earl  of,  203,  227. 

Cumbria,  8. 
Cumbrians,  8. 
Cuthbert,  St.,  8. 


Dacre,  family,  207-209. 

Ranulph  de,  203. 

Thomas,   Lord,    48,   58  ;    ex- 
tracts from   letters,    58-60,    139, 

140,  216,  232,  233. 
—  William,  Lord,   55  ; 


from  letters,  123,  124,  163. 
Dalriada,  8. 
David  ii.,  16,  234. 
'  Deadly  feud,'  origin,  17,  18. 

causes,  19-21. 

described  by  Gray,  33,  34. 

between   Maxwells    and 

Johnstones,  34-36. 
between    Veitches 


Tweedies,  36. 

Debatable    Land,    extent    and    ac- 
count of,  55-65. 

division  of,  62-65. 

Deira,  kingdom  of,  7. 

Danish  establishment  in,  8. 

Dirlton  Castle,  238. 

Dodd  family,  25. 

Domesday  freeholders,  their  rights, 


Survey,  12. 

Double  and  Sawfey,  vii,  96,  97,  230, 

Douglas,  Sir  Archibald,  142. 

Earl  of,  204,  205. 

family  of,  21,  28,  50,  171,  206, 


Sir  James,  2,  62,  91. 

Larder,  231. 

Drurye,  Sir  William,  126. 
Dryffe  Sands,  battle  of,  35. 
Dumfries,  Provostship  of,  49. 
Dunstanburgh,  38. 
Durham,  12,  16. 


Durham,  Bishopric  of,  44,  238. 

Bishop  of,  44. 

Bishop  Bek  of,  238. 

Bishop  Fox  of,  214. 

letter   to    Wolsey, 

216,  217. 
Thomas,  Bishop  of,  203. 


Eadwulf  Cutel,  9. 

Edinburgh,  5. 

Cross  of,  32. 

English  loss  of,  8. 

Edward  I.,  Bang  of  England,  6,  16, 
17,  18,  27,  67,  73,  187,  231,  234; 
claim  to  overlordship  of  Scotland, 
11,  13,  14 ;  championship  of  John 
Balliol,  14,  15  ;  making  of  March 
Laws,  81,  82, 166, 167  ;  institution 
of  Lord  Wardens,  190,  191. 

Edward  n.,  17,  18. 

Edward  in.,  16,  234. 

Edward  iv.,  38,  82,  91,  92,  95,  120, 
214,  215,  234,  235. 

Edward  vi.,  42,  60,  82,  153, 235,  236. 

Edwin  the  Anglian,  7. 

Egfrith  of  Northumbria,  8. 

Elizabeth,  Queen  of  England,  2,  30, 
38,  39,  48,  53,  54,  82,  100,  135, 
178-183,  188,  237,  239. 

Elliot  family,  the,  21,  25,  39,  50, 
115,  155,  182,  221. 

English  Dialect  Dictionary,  240. 

Eslington,  48. 

Ethelfrith  of  Northumbria,  his 
exploits,  7,  8. 

Ettrick  Stream,  4. 

Eure,  Lord,  40,  127,  160,  183. 

extract  from  letter  to 

Burghley,  139. 

Sir  William,  183. 

Eurie,  Lord.     See  Eure. 

Ewrie,  Sir  Ralph  (Lord),  199. 


Falaise,  Treaty  of,  13. 
Farneherst,  31. 
Farnstein,  133. 

Fenwyck,  Sandy,  126. 

Ferguson,    R.    S.,    quotation   from 

History  of  Cumberland,  207. 
Ferniehirst  Castle,  231,  232. 
Fletcher,  C.  R.  L.,  ix,  x. 
Flodden  field,  battle  of,  64,  213,  235. 
Florence  of  Worcester,  12. 
Foix,  Gaston  de,  27. 
Forster,  Sir  John,  47,  48,  121,  127, 

129,  130,  131,  132,  133,  138,  182, 

183,  210. 
letter  to  Walsing- 

ham,  viii. 

Forth,  the  Firth  of,  7,  10,  37. 
Fox,  Bishop.     See  Durham,  Bishop 

Froissart,  21. 

quotations    from,    24-26,    31, 

203,  204. 
'Fyling'  by  Warden,  93,  109,  113. 


Galashiels,  4. 
Gala  Water,  4. 
<  Gamblespath,'  37,  78,  80. 
Gilsland,  53,  54,  239. 
Gloucester,  Duke  of,  214,  215. 
Goldsmith,  Oliver,  his  Essays,  28. 
Graham  family,  the,  57,  227,  228, 

Gray,  Edward,  160. 

quotation     from     his     Choro- 

graphia,  26-27. 
Greyme,  Richard,  60. 
Guthred,  8. 


Haddington,  231. 
Hadrian,  the  Emperor,  7. 
Hall  family,  the,  48. 
John,   184. 

Hallam,  his  State  of  Europe  during 
the  Middle  Ages,  10. 

'Handwarcel,'  'Handwarsil,'  73,  74, 

Hazlerigg,  231. 

Hector  of  Harlaw.  See  Arm- 



Helen  of  Troy,  2. 

Henry  11.  of  England,  12,  13. 

Henry  in.,  66,  207. 

Henry  vi.,  82. 

Henry  vn.,  65,  101,  128,  236. 

Henry  vm.,  48,  65,  82,  92,  178, 
183-188,  217,  231,  232,  235, 

Heron,  Sir  John,  48. 

Sir  William,  128. 

Herzegovina,  8. 

Hesleyside,  25. 

Heslop,  R.  O.,  Dictionary  of  Nor- 
thumberland Words,  240. 

Heton,  Alan  de,  203. 

Hexhamshire,  43. 

Hoddam  (Howdam),  keeping  of  the 
house  of,  52. 

Hodgkin,  Dr.,  186. 

Creightonian  Lecture,  ix. 

Holy  Island  and  the  Farnes,  38. 

Home,  Lord,  136. 

-  family  of,  212,  213. 

Homer,  3. 

Odysseus,  1. 

quotation  from  the  Iliad,  2, 


Horsley,  John,  188. 
Hot  trod,  98-99,  100,  239. 
Howard,  Lady  William  of  Gilsland 
and  Naworth,  53,  209. 

Lord    William     of     Gilsland 

and     Naworth,     53,     150,     151, 

Humber,  the  estuary,  7. 

Hume,  49. 

Hume  Castle,  49. 

Hunsdon,  Lord,  132,  139,  178. 

Huntercombe,  Walter  de,  190,  191, 

Hutton,  Sir  William,  226. 

Irving,  Washington,  on  the  Scottish 

Border  in  his  Miscellanies,  3-5. 
Italy,  8,  9. 

James  i.  of  Scotland,  15. 

James  11.,  206. 

James  HI.  of  Scotland,  91,  92. 

James  iv.,  213,  235. 

James  v.  of  Scotland,  92,  178,  222- 

James  vi.  and  I.,  36,  50,  130,  203, 

209,  211,  213,  220,  225-229  ;   his 

survey  of  1604,  57. 
Jamieson,  Scottish  Dictionary,  240, 


Jedburgh,  Provostship  of,  49. 
Joanna,  daughter  of  Edward   m., 

John  Faranyeir,  i.e.  Robert  in.,  14. 

—  St.,  of  Halnaker,  191. 

of  Wyncheles,  81. 

Johnstone  family,  the,  21. 

the  clan  of,  211. 

Sir  James,  35. 

Laird  of,  34,  35. 

Jutes,  the,  7. 


Katharine,   granddaughter    of    the 
Duke  of  Somerset,  235. 

Keepership.  See  Annandale,  Liddes- 
dale,  Redesdale,  Tynedale. 

Ker,  Andrew,  126. 

family,  the,  21,  209,  210. 

-  John,  126. 

Sir  Robert,  31,  32,  124,  126, 

127,    128,    135,    136.      See    Rox- 
burgh, Earl  of. 

-    Sir    Thomas,   viii,    130,    131, 

Kershope.     See  Cryssop. 

Kinmont  Will,  2,  39,  134-137,  211. 

Kirkcaldy,  James  of  Grange,  236. 

William,  236. 

Lammermuir,  4. 
Lancashire,  8. 
Land  Serjeant,  vii,  53,  54. 
• duties  of,  viii. 


Lang,  Andrew,  History  of  Scotland, 


quotation  from,  14,  15. 

Langholm,  Captain  of,  51. 
Lapsley,  Dr.,  quotation  from  County 

Palatine   of  Durham,    217,    218, 


Lawes  Castle,  40. 
Lawson,  Sir  Wilfrid,  226. 
Leatham  Farm,  23. 
Lee,  Sir  Richard,  178. 
Leges  Marchiarum,  ix. 
extracts  from,  60-61,  148- 

150,  153,  165,  166,  167,  185,  219, 

220,  242. 
first  statutes,  66-103,  112- 

114,  142,  143,  156. 
Leigh,  Henry,  224. 
Leslie,  quotation  from  his  History 

of  Scotland,  19,  20,  233. 
Lesly,  Norman,  236. 
Lewelin,  Prince  of  Wales,  190. 
Leyden,    quotation    from    note    to 

'  Ode  on  Visiting  Flodden,'  34. 
Liddesdale,  29,  39,  49,  115,  155. 

keepership  of,  50. 

lawlessness  of,  x(  49,  50,  122, 

163,  164,  172. 
-  payment  of  the  keeper,  176-177. 

Lideley,  Prior  of,  79-81. 

Lochmaben,  house  of,  the  keeping 
of,  82. 

Lochwood,  35,  49. 

Lockerby,  35. 

Lord  Wardens  of  the  Marches. 
See  Wardens. 

Lothian,  9,  11. 

Louis  xi.  of  France,  15. 

Lowther,  extract  from  letter  to 
Burghley,  180. 

Lucy,  Anthony  de,  203. 

Thomas,  Lord  of  Cocker- 
mouth,  193,  203. 


Maitland,  Richard,  62. 
Malcolm  n.,  King  of  Scotland,  9. 

Malcolm  Canmore,  9,   10,   13  ;    his 

homage  to  William,  11,  12. 
Malcolm  iv.,  12,  13. 
Mangerton,  Laird  of,  29,  30. 
March  courts  or  Marches,  71-78. 

forums  or  battle  grounds,  78. 

treason,  the  law  of,  138,  139, 


code  of,  141-144,  146. 

penalty  of,  147-150. 

Marches,  the  Eastern,  Middle,  and 
Western,  their  extent,  37. 

clans  inhabiting.     See   Calen- 
dar of  Border  Papers. 

described  by  Sir  Robert  Bowes, 

40,  41,  42. 

described  by  Thomas  Phillips, 

39,  40. 

garrison  of,  47-51. 

laws  of,  ix,  x,  xi. 

laws    and    customs    of.      See 

Leges  Marchiarum. 

Lord  Wardens  of.     See  War- 

muster  of  the  East,  47. 

of  the  Middle,  47. 

of  the  West,  46,  47. 

Watches,  extent  of  the,  of,  165, 

orders  of    the,  of,    153- 

organisation     by     Lord 

Wharton  of  the,  156-160. 
Margaret,  sister  of  Edward  I.,  13. 
daughter  of  James  I.  of  Scot- 
land, 15. 
Mary   Queen  of    Scots,   2,   50,   82, 

131,  177,  181,  210,  220,  224,  235, 

Maxwell,  Lord  Robert,  58,  176,  185, 

the  clan  of,  21,  49,  158,  210. 

Milburn,  22,  24. 
Monnypenny,  David,  236. 
Morpeth,  139,  140. 
Mortimer,  Edmund,  Earl  of  March, 



Murray,  the  Regent,  30. 
Musgrave,  Humprey,  29,  33,  163. 

John,  226. 

Sir  Simon,  54. 

Thomas,  54,  203. 


Napier,  Alexander,  36. 
Nectansmere,  battle  of,  8. 
Neilson,  Dr.,  ix,  78,  79. 

quotation  from,  68. 

quotation  from  Trial  by 

Combat,  73,  77. 

Nevil,  Ralph  de.     See  Neville. 
Neville  family,  204,  205,  206. 

Lord,  203,  204. 

Ralph  de,  203. 

Newcastle,  25. 
Nicholson.     See  Burn. 

Bishop,  his  Collection  of  Leges 

Marchiarum,  ix,  66,  82,  143. 

his    Collection    of    Leges 

Marchiarum,     quotations     from, 
68-77,  148-150. 
Norham  Castle,  47. 
Normans,  the,  9. 

the  Conquest,  9. 

Northampton,  Treaty  of,  16. 
Northumberland,  3,  7,  9,  12,  22,  25 
38,  39,  40,  41,  42,  48. 

Earl  of,  2,  30,  153. 

Henry  de  Percy,  Earl  of,  191 

192,  203,  204,  217,  218. 

inhabitants  of,  27. 

Northumbria,  8,  9. 


Odysseus,  1,  2. 

Otterburn,  battle  of  Wardens,  21 
204,  205. 

Palestine,  13. 

Pembroke,  Countess  of,her  Memoirs 

191,  192. 
Earl  of,  191. 

•enrith,  14,  29. 
ercy,  family  of,  21,  28. 

Henry  de.     See  Northumber- 

land, Earl  of. 
ersians,     the     education     of     the 
ancient,  30. 
'hillips,  Thomas,  quotation  from, 

39,  64. 
'icts  and  Scots,  their  invasions  and 

repulsions,  6-8. 
*ilgrim'a  Progress,  4. 
Pilgrimage  of  Grace,  218. 
Pledge  of  Wardshiell,  73,  74. 

Pledges  '  of  Warden,  101,  102. 
Plump  Watches,  160,  161. 


Ragman  Roll,  the,  16. 

Raiders'  Lines  or  Paths  of  the 
Raiders,  their  debt  to  geographi- 
cal influence,  162. 

description  of,  161-164. 

Ratificatio   Conventionum  Scotiae, 

Rede,  20,  37. 

—  Sir  William,  179. 

Redesdale,  19,  139,  140,  239. 
keeper  of,  48,  51. 

Redewater,  23. 

Reed,  Percival,  48,  115. 

Reidswire,  37. 

meeting  of  the  Wardens  and 

fight  at,  48,  132,  133,  171. 
Rere  Cross,  the,  9,  10. 
Richard  Coaur  de  Lion,  13. 
Richard  m.,  208,  235. 
Richmond,   Henry  FitzRoy,  Duke 

of,  217,  218. 

Ridpath,  History  of  the  Border,  ix,  79. 
Robert  11.,  14. 
Robert    in.      See     John,    son     of 

Robert  11.,  or  John  Faranyeir. 
Robson  Clan,  the,  25,  155. 

John,  157. 

Rockliffe,  fortress  of,  48. 

Romans,  withdrawal  from  Britain, 



Routledge  family,  the,  102. 
Roxburgh,  15. 

Earl  of,  209,  211. 

Russell,  Lord  Francis,  37,  130,  131, 

132,  210. 

Ruthven,  Raid  of,  236. 
Ruthwell,  Lord,  222. 
Rymer,  Foedera,  ix. 

quotations  from  Foedera,  63, 

64,  65,  88,  90,  215,  235,  237. 


Sadler,  Sir  Ralph,  30,  188. 

Safe-conduct,  letters  of,  87,  88,  91. 

Sawfey.     See  Double  and  Sawfey. 

Saxons,  the,  7. 

Scone,  16. 

Scot  family,  the,  21,  171. 

Henry,  73,  81. 

Captain    Walter,    of  Satchel, 

quotations  from,  27. 
Sir  William,   of  Branxholme, 

Scott,  the  house  of  Buccleugh,  211, 

Scott,  Sir  Walter,  1-5,  38,  136,  150, 


his   Border  Min- 

strelsy, ix. 
17,  18,  32. 

quotations   from, 

quotations     from 
Border  Minstrelsy,  35,  36,  99. 

quotations    from 

Border  Antiquities,  219,  243. 

quotation     from 

The  Lay  of  the  Last  Minstrel,  170. 

Scrope,  Lord,  x,  15,  29,  39,  48-50, 
134,  135,  174,  180,  181,  211,  228. 

Henry  de,  203. 

Selby,  Sir  John,  127,  164,  179. 

Sir  William,  129,  136. 

William,  senior,  161. 

junior,  161. 

Severus,  the  Emperor,  7. 
Shrewsbury,  Earl  of,  215. 
Sichel,  Miss,  3. 

Sidney,  Sir  Fhilip,  2. 

quotation  from  his 

Apologie    for    Poetrie,    28 ;     his 

Arcadia,   ,9. 
Skiddaw,  i  9,  39,  169. 
Sleuth-ho' Jids,  'Slew'  or  ' Slough' 

dogs,  99. 
Smailhol/ne,  4. 
Smith,  A.  L.,  x. 
Solway,  the,  7,  13,  17,  37. 
Strand,  7. 

Somerset,  Duke  of,  235,  236. 
Earl  of,  209. 

Souden,  23. 

Soutrey,  31. 

Spain,  King  and  Queen  of,  237. 

Speed,  his  map  of  the  Marches,  42. 

'  Speiring '  and  '  Searching '  of  War- 
dens, 94,  113. 

Stafford,  Richard  de,  203. 

Standard,  battle  of  the,  12. 

Stanemore,  9. 

Starkhed,  31-32,  128. 

Stevenson,  R.  L.,  1. 

Stow,  quotation  from  his  Annales, 

Strathclyde,  8. 

Suffolk,  John,  Duke  of,  235. 

Surrey,  Earl  of,  214,  215. 

Sussex,  Earl  of,  beacon  orders  to 
the  Wardens,  169,  170. 

Tennyson,  Lord,  Idylls  of  the  King, 


Teviotdale,  4. 
Thornton,  Abraham,  17. 
'  Threap  Lands,'  64. 
Trespass  of  cattle,  95. 
Trial  by  Combat,  73,  74,  77-81. 
Tripoli,  9. 
Truce,  the,  83,  90. 

days  of,  or  March  Days,  82,  93, 

94,  116. 

description  of,  105-112. 

Troy,  siege  of,  2. 

Tweed,  the  river,  4,  9,  13,  37. 



Tweed,  vale  of,  20,  38. 
Tweedie,  the  family  of,  36. 
Tweedmouth,  16. 
Tyne,  the  river,  7,  8. 

north,  20. 

Tynedale,  14,  19,  239. 

keeper  of,  48,  51. 

Tyndale,  people  of,  174. 
Tynemouth,  43. 

Veitch  family,  the,  36. 
'Vower  publique.'    See  'Avower,' 
109,  118,  120. 


Wallsend,  7. 

Walsingham,  Lord,  viii,  39, 131, 132. 
Walter  1'Espec,  12. 
Warden  Courts,  77,  84. 

proceedings  of,  145-180. 

Wardens  of  the  Marches,  the  Lords,  6. 

breaking  of  the  laws,  130-137. 

dealing   with   March   treason, 


distribution  of,  45-51. 

duties,  97-103,  188. 

etiquette  at  meetings  of,  123- 


extension  of  power  of,  93,  94. 

faults  of  procedure,  116-122. 

—  fyling  by,  93,  109,  113,  114. 

institution,  190. 

jurisdiction  of,   111-116,   217- 


office  of  Lord  General,  214. 

origin  of  office,  186-187. 

payment  of,  176-185. 

powers   of   administration  of, 

89,  92,  93,  138,  139. 

powers  of  mustering,  42-44. 

procedure   at   days   of   truce, 


retinue  and  officers  of,  51. 

rights  in  debatable  land,  59,  60. 

speiring  and  searching  of,  94, 


Wardens,  tables  of  Lords  of  English 
Marches,  195,  197,  199,  201. 

tables   of   Lords  of   Scottish 

Marches,  194,  196,  198,  200. 

trysting-places,  37. 

Wardshiell,  Manus  de,  ix. 

Pledge  of,  73,  74. 

See  Trial  by  Combat. 

Warenne,  John,  Earl  of,  191. 

Wark,  47. 

Wear,  8. 

Welton,  Gilbert,  203.     See  Carlisle, 

Bishop  of. 

Westminster  Abbey,  18. 
Westmoreland,  9,  12,  39,  40,  41,  42, 


—  Earl  of,  2,  183,  206. 

extent  of  muster  for,  45. 

Wharton,  Lord,  62,  105,  183,  199. 

—  organisation    of    March 
Watches,  153-160. 

•  proclamation,  46. 

Widdrington,  Sir  John,  184. 

William  the  Conqueror,  26,  42. 

relations  with  Scotland, 

10,  11,  12,  13. 

William  the  Lion,  13. 

William  Bufus,  12. 

Wilson,  Rev.  H.  A.,  x,  72. 

Winchester,  Bishop  of.      See  Dur- 
ham, Bishop  of. 

Windy  Gyle,  20,  37. 

day  of  truce  at,  130-132, 


Wolsey,  Cardinal,  letters  from  Lord 
Dacre,  140,  163. 

letter  from  the  Bishop  of 

Durham,  216,  217. 
Woodryngton,  Roger,  126. 


Xenophon,  30. 

York,  9,  32. 

Henry,  Duke  of,  215. 

Printed  by  T.  and  A.  CONSTABLE,  Printers  to  His  Majesty 
at  the  Edinburgh  University  Press